A volunteer passes groceries through a car window at the Alliance Community Church’s free pop-up drive-thru market on April 22. Photo by Kaylyn Whibbs/Sylvan Lake News

Sylvan Lake church provides free drive-thru pop-up market

The Alliance Community Church held the first of the weekly free markets on April 22

The Alliance Community Church held a free pop-up drive-thru market on Wednesday.

For an hour, from 12 p.m. to 1 p.m., on April 22 volunteers were out ready to load bags of groceries into cars and are looking to be out every Wednesday.

Heather Donald, Mercy Connect coordinator and facility maintenance manager with the church, says the market started because The Mustard Seed wanted to share their bounty.

“Everything that they use to feed their folks that are using their beds that’s all donated and sometimes they have extra and so they asked if they could share with us going forward,” said Donald, adding other groups around Sylvan Lake are also donating.

For the inaugural pop-up market last week the Sylvan Lake Food Bank shared some bread with the church to be added to the list of goods.

“We added that into the mix and there might be some more stuff coming and so basically what we’re doing is we’re keeping that whole food stuff moving so that it’s fresh and people are getting good quality stuff,” Donald explained.

The April 22 pop-up market saw over 20 cars and three walk ups in the space of an hour, as well as three hampers delivered to people the church thought might be low on groceries.

In addition to the bags of groceries every car got some puzzle books and Play-Doh for the kids.

“There’s such an incredible collaboration of agencies,” said Donaldson, “this COVID-19 thing has done an amazing thing in that we knew what we all did before, but now it’s all getting glued together.”

“We’re stronger together, we’re more efficient together, so everybody’s sharing a lot better and using the resources.”

The little bit left over on April 22 went over to Community Partners, said Donald.

The church is looking to make the pop-up drive-thru markets a weekly occurrence and those looking to utilize the program can watch for updates on the Alliance Community Church’s Facebook page.

Donald explained there is no need to pre-apply, just drive or walk up, tell the volunteers how many people are in your household and they will load you up.

“They just need to stay back until they are invited to come up into the lineup and we can generally serve two cars or two people separately at the same time,” Donald said.

The shopping bags the items are transferred in come straight out of a sealed container to gloved hands of the masked volunteers.

“The Alliance Church is here in Sylvan Lake for the community of Sylvan Lake,” said Marlis Hansen, director of operations at the church, adding residents shouldn’t hesitate to contact them via Facebook or at 403-887-8811.


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