Executive Director and Co-Founder of Rock Soup Craig Haavalsen is sleeping in a tent outside Rock Soup’s location until the Go Fund Me for Rock Soup raises $10,000. Shaela Dansereau/ Pipestone Flyer.

Executive Director and Co-Founder of Rock Soup Craig Haavalsen is sleeping in a tent outside Rock Soup’s location until the Go Fund Me for Rock Soup raises $10,000. Shaela Dansereau/ Pipestone Flyer.

Putting normalcy into asking for help: New non-profit sets up in Wetaskiwin

Rock Soup non-profit is a new secular Food Bank putting down roots in Wetaskiwin.

A new Food Bank is making its home in Wetaskiwin. Rock Soup Greenhouse and Food Bank is trying to get up and running in the community.

Rock Soup has officially moved into their new location at 6501-47 Street Wetaskiwin, Alta., across from the Wetaskiwin Hospital. The 10,000 square foot property will feature a 3,000 square foot storefront and a 6,000 square foot, four-season greenhouse.

Executive Director and Co-Founder of Rock Soup, Craig Haavalsen, wanted to create a food bank that normalizes the process of receiving help and food bank donations.

Rock Soup will differ from other food banks in the area based not only on them being a secular, non-government organization, but also that Rock Soup will be set up to allow people to get their food in a grocery store style.

“It looks almost exactly like a grocery story,” says Haavalsen. “We wanted to stand out as a secular and non-governmental organization.”

Rock Soup’s four season greenhouse will be used to grow fresh produce for the food bank year round.

Haavalsen is excited to be able to work with the community to not only be able to provide for those in need, but create an environment that is a safe space that creates normalcy for those needing to use a food bank.

Haavalsen says that unlike other food banks, Rock Soup will not require individuals to fill out extensive and personal paperwork about themselves on why they require assistance to use the food bank.

He says, “it is cruel when you are looking at something like food,” to have to disclose all the reasons why you need assistance.

Having personally done work with the homeless population in Edmonton, Haavalsen says that he is cognizant of aspects Rock Soup has that other food banks don’t take into consideration. For example, Haavalsen plans to have availability of some pre-made foods and foods that don’t require cooking devices at Rock Soup.

“If you are given a whole bunch of cans to cook but you live in a tent,” Haavalsen says on certain things not adding up.

Rock Soup is working on partnering with other local food banks and community non-profits in their mission to provide for the community.

In addition to food, Haavalsen boasts that Rock Soup will have one of the largest selections of feminine hygiene products available for a food bank.

“It’s 2020, that stuff should be free for everybody. It is a medical need,” Haavalsen says.

Rock Soup is grateful for the diversity of cultures in the Wetaskiwin region and looks forward to working with community leaders to not only provide, but also acknowledge the cultural significance that food plays in individual’s lives.

“We recognize that food is not just food, but also a culture and spiritual practice and teaching.”

Come spring, Haavalsen hopes to establish a small orchard at Rock Soup that will fully accessible for all guests to pick their own fruits.

Rock Soup has also donated a spot within their location for Sexual and Gender Acceptance Wetaskiwin (SAGA) to use as a safe space office and computer use area. SAGA plans on working with Rock Soup on future projects.

Currently, Haavalsen is sleeping in a tent outside of Rock Soup to raise funds for the non-profit.

“Me and one of my dogs will sleep out there every night until we reach $10,000.”

The Go Fund Me campaign for Rock Soup can be found on their website at www.rocksoup.ca.

Haavalsen says Rock Soup is still looking for volunteers and donations.

“Food security can only work if we work together,” Haavalsen says.



shaela.dansereau@pipestoneflyer.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

Racks have been donated and installed in the Rock Soup store front, for grocery store style food bank shopping. Shaela Dansereau/ Pipestone Flyer.

Racks have been donated and installed in the Rock Soup store front, for grocery store style food bank shopping. Shaela Dansereau/ Pipestone Flyer.

Just Posted

Alberta’s chief medical officer of health Dr. Deena Hinshaw and Premier Jason Kenney say the province would look at adding additional COVID-19 measures in the coming weeks if the virus continues to spread. (Photo by Government of Alberta)
Walk-in COVID-19 vaccination clinic to open in Red Deer

Alberta adds 1,345 new cases of the virus

Boston Pizza is one of the Wetaskiwin restaurants currently setting up a patio for in-person dining. Shaela Dansereau/ Pipestone Flyer.
City of Wetaskiwin to wave permit fees for temporary patio applications

City of Wetaskiwin Council unanimously carried a motion at the regular April… Continue reading

Kevin Buffalo in his traditional chicken dance regalia. (Photo submitted)
3rd Inaugural Grouse Symposium goes online

Virtual symposium will be held April 24

Public health restrictions on non-essential travel and vacation bookings are being increased in B.C. (B.C. government)
COVID-19: B.C. announces signage along Alberta border to discourage non-essential travel

B.C. extends COVID-19 indoor dining, group fitness ban until May 25

In this image from NASA, NASA’s experimental Mars helicopter Ingenuity lands on the surface of Mars Monday, April 19, 2021. The little 4-pound helicopter rose from the dusty red surface into the thin Martian air Monday, achieving the first powered, controlled flight on another planet. (NASA via AP)
VIDEO: NASA’s Mars helicopter takes flight, 1st for another planet

The $85 million helicopter demo was considered high risk, yet high reward

sign
Alberta Biobord Corp. recently hosted a virtual open house from Stettler

The company plans to develop a fuel pellet and medium density fibre board (MDF) plant near the community

Ryan Applegarth. (RCMP photo)
Preliminary hearing date set for Applegarth

Ryan Jake Applegarth appeared briefly before the Ponoka Provincial Court over CCTV… Continue reading

The Rogers logo is photographed in Toronto on Monday, September 30, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Tijana Martin
Rogers investigating after wireless customers complain of widespread outage

According to Down Detector, problems are being reported in most major Canadian cities

People are shown at a COVID-19 vaccination site in Montreal, Sunday, April 18, 2021, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues in Canada and around the world. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
Nothing stopping provinces from offering AstraZeneca vaccine to all adults: Hajdu

Health Canada has licensed the AstraZeneca shot for use in people over the age of 18

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Chrystia Freeland responds to a question during Question Period in the House of Commons Tuesday December 8, 2020 in Ottawa. The stage is set for arguably the most important federal budget in recent memory, as the Liberal government prepares to unveil its plan for Canada’s post-pandemic recovery even as a third wave of COVID-19 rages across the country. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Election reticence expected to temper political battle over federal budget

Opposition parties have laid out their own demands in the weeks leading up to the budget

Each spring, the Okanagan Fest-of-Ale is held in Penticton. This year, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the festival will not be held. However, beer is still available. How much do you know about this beverage? (pxfuel.com)
QUIZ: How much do you really know about beer?

Put your knowledge to the test with this short quiz

Most Read