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

An x-ray tech demonstrates the new equipment in use. (Photo Submitted)
New diagnostic equipment now operational at Sylvan Lake AACS

In August it was announced that Stephen and Jacqueline Wuori donated $850,000 to AACS

People skate on a lake in a city park in Montreal, Sunday, January 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
The end of hugs: How COVID-19 has changed daily life a year after Canada’s 1st case

Today marks the one year anniversary of COVID-19 landing in Canada

SARS-CoV-2 virus particles, which causes COVID-19, emerge from the surface of cells isolated from a patient in the U.S. and cultured in a lab in a 2020 electron microscope image. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-HO, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases - Rocky Mountain Laboratories
Alberta adds 463 new COVID-19 cases on Sunday

The central zone has 818 active cases

As of Friday, Alberta has under 10,000 active COVID-19 cases. (Image courtesy CDC)
Alberta identifies 573 new COVID-19 cases, 13 deaths on Saturday

There are currently 9,727 active cases of the virus in the province

As of Friday, Alberta has under 10,000 active COVID-19 cases. (Image courtesy CDC)
Three new COVID-19 deaths in Central zone, Alberta under 10,000 active cases

The Central zone sits at 849 active cases, with 52 people in hospital and 10 in the ICU.

Terrance Josephson of the Princeton Posse, at left, and Tyson Conroy of the Summerland Steam clash during a Junior B hockey game at the Summerland Arena in the early spring of 2020. (John Arendt - Summerland Review)
QUIZ: How much do you know about hockey?

Test your knowledge of Canada’s national winter sport

Black Press file photo
Wetaskiwin RCMP investigate fatal pedestrian collision

A 37-year-old man from Maskwacis has died in hospital as a result of his injuries.

A registered nurse prepares a dose of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine in Halifax on Monday, Jan. 11, 2021. Yukon’s Minister of Community Services, John Streiker, says he’s outraged that a couple from outside the territory travelled to a remote community this week and received doses of COVID-19 vaccine. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Andrew Vaughan-POOL
Couple charged after travelling to Yukon to get COVID-19 vaccine

The maximum fine under the emergency measures act is $500, and up to six months in jail

Metis Nation of B.C. President Clara Morin Dal Col poses in this undated handout photo. The Metis Nation of B.C. says Dal Col has been suspended from her role as president. The Metis Nation of B.C. says Dal Col has been suspended from her role as president. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, Metis Nation of B.C. *MANDATORY CREDIT*
Metis Nation of B.C. suspends president, citing ‘breach’ of policies, procedures

Vice-president Lissa Smith is stepping in to fill the position on an acting basis

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speaks in the in the House of Commons on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Thursday, Dec. 3, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang
Payette shouldn’t get same benefits as other ex-governors general: O’Toole

Former governors general are entitled to a pension and also get a regular income paid to them for the rest of their lives

A woman injects herself with crack cocaine at a supervised consumption site Friday, Jan. 22, 2021 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Drug users at greater risk of dying as services scale back in second wave of COVID-19

It pins the blame largely on a lack of supports, a corrupted drug supply

RCMP. (Phil McLachlan - Black Press Media)
Blackfalds RCMP investigate fatal collision

Preliminary investigation revealed a south bound pickup truck collided with an eastbound car

Jennifer Cochrane, a Public Health Nurse with Prairie Mountain Health in Virden, administers the COVID-19 vaccine to Robert Farquhar with Westman Regional Laboratory, during the first day of immunizations at the Brandon COVID-19 vaccination supersite in Brandon, Man., on Monday, January 18, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Tim Smith - POOL
Top doctor urges Canadians to keep up with COVID measures, even as vaccines roll out

More than 776,606 vaccines have been administered so far

Dr. Jerome Leis and Dr. Lynfa Stroud are pictured at Sunnybrook Hospital in Toronto on Thursday, January 21, 2021.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
‘It wasn’t called COVID at the time:’ One year since Canada’s first COVID-19 case

The 56-year-old man was admitted to Toronto’s Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre

Most Read