A handful of local businesses are trying to raise money for HALO air ambulance while also supporting southern Alberta potato growers with a COVID-19 related surplus.

McCain Foods, Western Tractor, and J.E.B. Transport are hosting a Free Fry Day event this Friday, May 29.

With restaurants shuttered or operating at half-capacity because of COVID-19, there’s a surplus of french fry potatoes in Canada.

President and GM of Western Tractor, Steven Dyck, says McCain’s is supplying nearly 7,500 bags of french fries – $50,000 worth – to be given away at dealerships in Lethbridge, Taber, Burdett, and Medicine Hat.

He says participating businesses “wanted to get out in front of the public and really talk about how important it is to southern Alberta that we have these producers and encourage the public to support this as a local industry.

In addition to promoting potato growers, the goal is also to raise $100,000 for HALO air ambulance with businesses, organizations, and individuals being challenged to join the effort and sponsor some of the french fries being given away.

HALO announced earlier this month it would be reducing its fleet as of June 1 and shutting down operations entirely on July 1 without a significant funding boost.

For full details, including how to donate and when the fries will be given away at each dealership, visit www.westerntractorfreefryday.ca