Helping Hands to use drones for upcoming Food Drive

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It’s a bird. It’s a plane. It’s a drone?

Check the skies on April 29, to see a sci-fi movie come to life as Helping Hands organizers release a swarm of drones that they will be using to pick-up this year’s food donations.

“We are really excited to announce this project. We are hoping this cutting-edge experiment will improve food drives across Canada, ” said Jackie Shier, Helping Hands executive director.

With the unmanned aircraft, organizers are hopeful the pilot project using the innovative technology will create a “buzz ” within the town and province.

“It’s something new for Helping Hands but we are excited to see how it goes, ” Shier said.

Organizers explained that while the food drives typically have a lots of residents offering to help sort the donations, there is a lack of people who volunteer to collect the donations from Cochrane and surrounding area communities.

That is where the drones come into the picture. Thanks to a one-time donation from an anonymous donor, organizers will be using drones to collect food from people’s doorsteps.

“We are not a busy as a major city so it’s easier to fly drones through town. If people can leave their groceries where they are easily accessible, that will be great, ” Shier said.

“If anyone has drone experience, we would love to have some people to fly them. We are hoping to see younger people get involved. ”

While drones sound like a great idea, this little April Fool’s Day prank is merely an effort to raise awareness to the fact Helping Hands struggles with attracting volunteers to help pick up donations. So help avoid the rise of the terminators and lend a hand this year.

The semi-annual food drives contribute to 90 per cent of the Cochrane Activettes food bank stock. Last fall the semi-annual drive moved up the date to September from October with a demand increase.

In 2016, the Food Bank helped more than 2,500 people with more than 1,000 of the recipients being children.

Residents from Bragg Creek, Redwood Meadows, Springbank and Bearspaw are encouraged to donate as those communities, while close to the city of Calgary, are directed to access the Cochrane Food Bank.

For more information or to contact organizers, email drone@helpinghandscochrane.ca.

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