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

Dr. Wayne John Edwards, 66, died Tuesday at Chinook Regional Hospital. (Cornerstone Funeral Home)
Lethbridge doctor becomes 7th Alberta health-care worker to die from COVID-19

Dr. Wayne John Edwards, who was 66, died Tuesday at the Chinook Regional Hospital in the southern Alberta city

Conservative leader Erin O’Toole holds a press conference on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Tuesday, April 6, 2020. Top Tory leaders of past and present will speak with supporters today about what a conservative economic recovery from COVID-19 could look like. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
O’Toole to vote against Conservative MP’s private bill on ‘sex-selective abortion’

Erin O’Toole said he supports a woman’s right to choose and will personally vote against the private member’s bill

Pall Bearers carrying the coffin of the Duke of Edinburgh, followed by the Prince of Wales, left and Princess Anne, right, into St George’s Chapel for his funeral, at Windsor Castle, in Windsor, England, Saturday April 17, 2021. (Danny Lawson/Pool via AP)
Trudeau announces $200K donation to Duke of Edinburgh award as Prince Philip laid to rest

A tribute to the late prince’s ‘remarkable life and his selfless service,’ the Prime Minister said Saturday

A vial of some of the first 500,000 AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine doses that Canada secured. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Carlos Osorio
Canada’s 2nd blood clot confirmed in Alberta after AstraZeneca vaccine

The male patient, who is in his 60s, is said to be recovering

The funeral of Britain’s Prince Philip in Windsor, England, on Saturday, April 17, 2021. Philip died April 9 at the age of 99. (Kirsty Wigglesworth/AP)
PHOTOS: Prince Philip laid to rest Saturday as sombre queen sits alone

The entire royal procession and funeral took place out of public view within the grounds of Windsor Castle

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau looks on as Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland responds to a question during a news conference on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, Tuesday, Aug. 18, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Expectations high as Trudeau Liberals get ready to unveil first pandemic budget

The Liberals will look to thread an economic needle with Monday’s budget

Doses of the Moderna COVID‑19 vaccine in a freezer trailer, to be transported to Canada during the COVID-19 pandemic. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Pfizer to increase vaccine deliveries in Canada as Moderna supply slashed

Moderna plans to ship 650,000 doses of its vaccine to Canada by the end of the month, instead of the expected 1.2 million

A empty classroom is pictured at Eric Hamber Secondary school in Vancouver, B.C. Monday, March 23, 2020. The Alberta government says schools in Calgary will move to at-home learning starting Monday for students in grades 7 to 12.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Calgary schools to shift to at-home learning for grades 7 to 12 due to COVID-19

The change, due to COVID-19, is to last for two weeks

A man wears a protective face covering to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 as he walks past the emergency entrance of Vancouver General Hospital in Vancouver, B.C., Friday, April 9, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
COVID-19 spike in B.C. could overwhelm B.C. hospitals: modelling group

There are 397 people are in hospital due to the virus, surpassing a previous high of 374 seen in December

Most Read