CALGARY -- The Neilson family have a way of turning doing good into having fun.

They were out Saturday, collecting food on behalf of the Calgary Food Bank, as part of their city wide food drive.

What makes the Neilsons extra-effective is that all five kids, plus dad Woody and mom Laura - and the dog - were out collecting Saturday.

Woody, in an interview with CTV News, said the family were food drive veterans, who have collected food for food banks in Vernon and Comox B.C., and now Calgary.

 "It's just a fun thing to do for our family," he said. "The kids enjoy it and it's a nice opportunity to help out in the community."

Woody's son Jost explained part of the appeal.

"It was fun to do as a kid because we would bring rollerblades and do it," he said.

Saturday, the family were picking up bags they'd dropped off earlier in the week, that neighbours filled with food, and delivering a truck full to the Food Bank - which made an impression on Jost.

Neilson family

"It's almost like a pain to do Food Drive," he said, "until you see how much food you're actually bringing in. Dropping off the bags is another reason why it's better than just picking up, because you actually get to see the difference you made and it leaves you with that good feeling."

That good feeling resonated with Calgary Food Bank president and CEO James McAra, who spoke to CTV News Saturday.

"Our community is in a time of crisis," McAra said, "and only by coming together and sharing what we have are we going to get through this."

James McAra

For the food bank, the timing couldn't be better, McAra added, because so many people need help at the moment.

"The Calgary Food Bank has seen unprecedented demand because of financial, followed by resource, followed by pandemic meltdowns - and I would love to say we're going to see less (demand), but operating at the highs we are at now, it's almost as we're up there without a safety net - and this drive, today, is a safety net.

"This is that piece," he said, "that says it's OK. You can do this - and so for anybody who feels like they're on a high wire without a net, this a reminder: we can do this. We got you. It's OK."