ECKVILLE, Alberta – Marvin and Diane Eliuk, owners of Prairie CNC Custom Woodworking, are doing their bit to help feed the hungry during the coronavirus pandemic.

The couple is selling 8-inch square, “We’re all in this together” wall plaques. Half of the $20 price is being donated to local food banks. So far more than $1,000 has been raised.

Prairie CNC is a home-based novelty business that manufactures products using a CanCam desktop CNC router. The litany of custom wood products sold on the company’s website include cribbage boards, cremation urns, rolling trays, charcuterie boards and essential oil holders.

 

Marvin Eliuk said early on during the government-mandated stay-at-home order, Diane and he discussed what they might do to help those less fortunate. “One of the first things that occurred to us is that the food banks are getting nailed hard because there so many people becoming unemployed," he said. "Alberta is an oil province and our jobs were hit hard even before COVID because of the oil spat between the Russians and Saudis that depressed oil prices."

The Eliuk’s created two different designs, one representing Alberta and the other the world. “We’re all in this together seems to be the motto that everyone is going with,” Eliuk said. “Even though most of our business is here in central Alberta, we do ship world-wide. Sales of the two designs have been running about 50-50.”

The plaques are routed on MDF and finished with Eco-Poxy finish. “We usually use hardwoods like cherry and birch but chose to use MDF to keep costs down so that people can afford them,” Eliuk said. “The Eco-Poxy finish is soy-based and contains no chemicals. It’s food safe for products like serving trays, but we don’t use it on cutting boards because it marks up too easily.”

Through online woodworking forums, Eliuk said he has shared his world design with woodworkers in Arizona, Illinois and New York. “I hope they are doing something with them to support their local food banks,” he said.

Eliuk said his business has managed to stay relatively busy in spite of the COVID-19 outbreak. He looks forward to when life returns to normal and his company is able to display at home and specialty shows, the biggest part of CNC Prairie's marketing budget to find new customers.

“Even after this blows over, we plan to continue to find ways to support food banks for as long as this company is in business,” Eliuk said. “When we are able to exhibit at shows again, we’ll set up a side display promoting products to support food banks. They need help all the time, especially now. Some of them are kind of getting double hit because some of the families who used to donate to the food banks are now going there.”

Order a "We're all in this together" placque at prairiecnc.ca.

 

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