CALGARY — A program run by veterans providing food and supplies to former servicemen and servicewomen is urgently calling for donations.

The Veterans Association Food Bank sponsors veterans and their families with hampers through the holiday season.

"More and more of our brothers and sisters are finding out that we're here," said Mike Nelson, who is in operations with the non-profit group.

It aims to produce 40 hampers for a veteran and family each month, and over the holidays it will deliver 200 or more. Each hamper costs an estimated $450 to produce.

The organization is largely run by veterans for veterans and the immediate families of servicemembers to help those who've fallen on hard times and may not know where to turn.

"Here we understand that they can accept help from basically comrades, brothers and sisters in arms, it's easier," said Joel Vecchione, a U.S. veteran and volunteer.

Organizers also say they are also helping create a sense of community for veterans in Calgary.

"We look them right in the eye and tell them they are home, they're safe and we're not going to let them go, and we mean that. We have peer-to-peer support with each other," said Nelson.

The campaign is in full swing accepting donations at their new warehouse location at Bay #10 820 28th Street N.E. near Marlborough Mall, and financial donations are being accepted online at their website.

Realtors in Crossfield are collecting non-perishable items at 10 open houses Saturday between 11 and 3 p.m.