City copes with virus

Cliff Kenyon

Cold Lake organizations seem optimistic as they face new challenges and intend to continue offering help.

The Cold Lake Food Bank has adequate supplies of food at this time to meet needs and stands ready to help, said board member Randy McDonald.

“We are going to do anything we can to stay open as long as we can,” McDonald said.

The food bank has made changes to procedures to eliminate any physical contact with food bank recipients, although it may take visitors slightly longer than in the past to get food.

“We recognize that hardest hit in the community are those who were unable to stock up,” he said. “If you haven’t stocked up you may need us.”

Donations of food have so far held up despite new challenges.

“The Lakeland people are incredible. Some who have needed help in the past later come back in with donations of food.”

The Food Bank, however, is seeking volunteers. They are preparing a list of those willing to help out. They have about 11 volunteers who help in the warehouse and fill orders for recipients.

“Some of our current volunteers are retired (and part of a vulnerable group) and nervous about coming in.”

He said the Food Bank is happy to hear from volunteers who may only have a day or two to offer their help.

The Lakeland Humane Society has closed its doors to visitors, but is continuing most usual operations, said Shelter Manager Nicole Mbanefo.

“It took a couple of days to figure out how to do things, but in the end we all band together to help each other,” she said.” We have been surprised by the number of people calling to ask if we need anything.”

Although closed to visitors, they will open to accept strays and for adoptions.

“Even in times of peril, people are thinking about animals.”

Cold Lake Mayor Craig Copeland said in a news release he is urging residents to remain calm.

“Alberta’s supply chains are robust and well established. People need to understand that supply chains are tailored to community demand and that our local business community serves us well. We know that there are enough goods to support our community and that there is no need for hoarding.”

Copeland has been in contact with leaders in the local business community who have confirmed that supply chains remain intact and they are adjusting to the current situation. Businesses have seen an increase in demand with the added challenge of adjusting to staff members who have had to self-isolate, or take time off of work in response to school programs and daycare closures.

“By maintaining our purchasing habits, our businesses will be able to keep up with the community’s needs, just as they always have been able to do,” Copeland said. “There are plenty of goods in warehouses, our businesses are working hard to have them brought in, and the trucking industry is working hard to catch up. If you really want to look out for yourself, your neighbours and your community, then buy what you need and don’t fall into the trap of going overboard. Wasted goods and wasted money will not be able to help anyone in the days ahead.”