A couple of big-hearted companies have been providing food delivery to house-bound residents in the town of Cochrane since COVID-19 hit Alberta.
"We will keep doing it as long as the need is there," said Craig Wiens, owner/operator of Kingsmith Builders, who delivers groceries every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. During the first two months of the pandemic, he was making deliveries six days a week.
"Construction had slowed down at that time and the demand to help people was certainly there," said Wiens, who teamed up with the local Save-On Foods to provide delivery in the company truck.
Community Flatbread Co. also started delivery in mid-March when their restaurant was forced to close due to COVID-19 restrictions.
"This is a family friendly town. We started doing it to help people out and we'll keep doing it as long as people need it," said Rob Filby, co-owner of the eatery.
Filby said they have reduced their delivery to residents every three weeks – largely because demand has dropped.
"We'll keep doing it as long as we can to help people out," said Filby.
"We had 24 deliveries last Friday," said Filby, adding customers make their orders on Community Flatbread's Facebook page. Orders are picked up from their food supplier and then delivered by Filby and employees from Community Flatbread.
The workload shifted in mid-May when provincial regulations relaxed, allowing the eatery to reopen.
But Filby and team members have continued to deliver food using their private vehicles.
"With the restaurant fully operational, we don't have as much time, but we are making deliveries," said Filby, "We are doing as much as we can."
"It was pretty sad there for awhile, but it is really good to be open," said Filby.
At Kingsmith, construction has picked up in the past month, but Wiens said he has no plans to stop the food delivery service.
"We have trucks that we can use, so there is always room," said Wiens, who is often assisted by office administrator Darcy Craig.
"We always go at the end of our workday, after we are wrapped up here," said Wiens.
He said the reaction from whoever is on the other side of the door is what keeps them going.
"There are a lot of people in Cochrane who have mobility and health issues who aren't able to get out and get their groceries," he said, adding delivery is not available at local grocery stores.
"They have been very appreciative. Some can get quite lonely. They speak through the screen door and say thanks and we ask how they are doing. They smile. It warms your heart," said Wiens.
"We wear the masks, gloves, drop the food off on the front porch and then text or ring the door bell when we get there," said Wiens, who has owned Kingsmith since 2009.
"People would have to rely on friends and family, but not everyone can do that," said Wiens who says most of the recipients are seniors in quarantine. He said, "Some of those don't want to go out even now because they feel they are at higher risk."
(Both Kingsmith and Community Flatbread charge a nominal fee for delivery.)
Cochrane, located 18 km west of Calgary, has a population of about 29,500.
There are no active COVID-19 cases in Cochrane.
Gary Poignant is a freelance writer and regular contributor to AlbertaPrimeTimes.com. This story was funded by the Facebook Journalism Project Supporting Local News Coverage of COVID-19 Program via the Local Media Foundation.