FORT MACLEOD, ALTA. -- More than three tractor-trailers full of food were unloaded in Fort MacLeod earlier this week as part of an effort organized by Calgary Family Peer Connections, which has been helping a number of southern Alberta families get through the pandemic.

“We started at the front door of my driveway under a red tent outside, and now we are serving more than 1,000 individuals each week,” said Calgary Family Peer Connections founder and director Jaquie Duhacek.

The organization helps people in Fort MacLeod, Lethbridge, Nanton, Claresholm, along with several other southern Alberta communities, and there are no qualifications for who can pick up food from them.

“There is no financial requirement, so anybody in the community is welcome,” said Duhacek.

Calgary Family Peer Connections has even been able to recruit volunteers from people who were coming into pickup food.

“I would come with my family every week and we would come to get food and it just liked a really great operation,” said volunteer coordinator Hailey Brobbel. “I came up to Jacquie and I was like, 'can I volunteer, can I be a part of this? And she said, yeah.' The same day I was working the whole afternoon handing people bread.”

The organization has helped more than 10,000 families in the MD of Willow Creek. But the group is facing some tough times ahead.

“All of our funding has now been depleted. We’ve reached our end dates, so we are now desperate,” said Duhacek.

The volunteer group is in need of funds to help pay for food storage and distribution costs. For those interested in donating, the group is advising people to visit their Facebook page.

For those wanting food, it can be picked up Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays from noon to 3 p.m. at 760 12th Street in Fort Macleod.