CALGARY -- Every week in Calgary and Edmonton the volunteers and staff at the Veterans Association Food Bank (VAFB) deliver dozens of food hampers to support our veterans in need, and yet it's never quite enough.

In order to meet this growing demand the association relies heavily on fundraising and like many other charitable organizations unable to access the usual conventions and events in the pandemic, the VAFB has had to pivot, in 2021, to a pair of Plan Bs.

For the month of May the Veterans Association Food Bank will be hosting two raffles: one is a Mothers Day-inspired 50/50 draw and the other a chance to win a custom-built “She Shed.”

Alyssa Harrington is now the social media coordinator for the VAFB but before taking that role at the organization, she and her husband; a veteran who lives with PTSD, were among the organization's first clients.

Harrington said that the pandemic has changed how they're approaching funding drives, “We can’t do a lot of the fundraising events that we would normally do, like home and garden shows and weekend events, so we’re trying to do things more virtually," she said.

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Funds from the online 50/50 and the "She Shed" raffle are both slated to go towards the purchase of a stair lift for the Calgary location in addition to a delivery vehicle for the Edmonton operation.

The VAFB serves veterans of all ages including some who have sustained injuries or suffer from mobility issues related to their service.  “We’re more than a food bank," Harrington told CTV News in a phone interview,  "We want to have a place for peer support, a place where veterans come in and have coffee and have somebody to talk to. In order to do that and make it accessible for everyone, we need a stair lift.”

The Edmonton location, which opened in the last year, desperately needs a delivery vehicle to keep up with the demand for food hampers each of which can contain up to a month's worth of supplies.

The She shed is currently being built by a group of veterans in the Calgary VAFB warehouse.

"It’s got skylights and really nice paneling,"Harrington said. "It's meant to be a little place for a mom to escape in her backyard.”

The shed features lots of windows for natural light and enough space for crafting or exercises like yoga. 

Harrington said the funds raised are vital to the ongoing operations of the Veterans Association Food Bank and those that rely on them. “We were (once) on the receiving end of these food hampers and the financial assistance while my husband was recovering and getting some help.” 

Harrington said that often veterans dealing with PTSD and their families can feel very isolated, “In our case, knowing that there are a whole bunch of people here who will literally do anything for you, if you're a veteran in need they will figure it out and get it done, whatever you need.”

To learn more about the VAFB and to enter the raffles visit the link.