By Mamta Lulla

One family in the Tri-Region has taken it upon itself to make sure there’s healthy food for families – especially those with young children – in challenging times.

Helping Hands for Lils, a Facebook group started about three months ago.

Crystal Welsh, co-founder of the group started the Facebook group with her partner Corey Mari, with one goal: to ensure there is a helping hand for families in need.

“There are other groups like the food bank for example and it’s awesome but it’s not always healthy food,” said Welsh.

Welsh said she and Mari wanted to start a moment by starting the group: to inform people healthy food isn’t expensive and there’s help when needed.

The group started due to a social media backlash.

“And the negative turned into positive,” said Welsh.

The group currently serves families in Stony Plain and Spruce Grove.

Welsh asks residents for healthy food donations like fruits and vegetables. She also accepts food items like lunch meat and bread for easy school lunch ideas for kids.

She often delivers food items to families in need. But there are times people making donations help with deliveries as well.

“They ask ‘where would you like it dropped off?’” she said.

Apart from food, Welsh also accept cash and gift cards.

All donation pictures are posted on the group’s Facebook page.

She explained there’s need for groups such as this one to offer a helping hand because families struggle in silence.

Welsh and Mari have five children and said she knows there’s a constant need for food and snacks in families with children.

In the past three months, the couple has helped about 10 families.

“People we’ve helped come back and ask for help,” she said explaining the need in the community.

The group has grown since it first started with more than 70 members currently, all thanks to word of mouth.

To join the group, find them on Facebook @Helping Hands For The Lils.

To volunteer, donate or ask for a helping hand, people can also call Crystal Welsh at 780-995-8871 or Corey Mari at 780-667-3410.