Remembrance Day may be a week and a half away, but work at one Calgary food bank for veterans and their spouses goes on year round.
"Some of them are right at wit's end,” said Dave Tyrrell of the Calgary Veterans Food Bank.
The food bank is part of the Calgary Poppy Fund, which has a goal of assisting needy veterans, their widows and dependents with medical, shelter, food and dental care.
The centre is staffed by many veterans who say it's been busy.
"I'm not hurting, but there are lots,” said Tyrrell.
“With the economy going flat, they're in a world of hurt and we're here to help them."
The food bank sends out more than 65 food hampers a month to veterans who need short-term help.
Staff and volunteers say many veterans live below the poverty line, often avoiding other food banks and social service agencies.
"There are probably hundreds of them and they're too proud,” said Lloyd Downey of the Calgary Naval Veterans Association.
But the food bank is also looking for support.
David Howard created the Canadian Legacy Project six years ago to help veterans and they kicked off their annual Veterans and Seniors Food Drive on Thursday.
"We wouldn't be doing this food drive if it wasn't bad," David Howard of the Canadian Legacy Project.
The drive consists of a two-week campaign to raise food and cash for the cause.
Howard says demand also keeps growing among younger veterans from missions in places like Croatia and Afghanistan.
"Unfortunately we've seen over the last six years is a lot of our older veterans are passing but the need is getting greater for our younger vets coming back," he said.
Last year, the the Canadian Legacy Project's food drive filled two warehouses and raised $50,000 to support the food bank and the target is even higher this year.
To donate, bring non-perishable food donations to the Crown Surplus store in Inglewood or make financial donations to the Canadian Legacy Project online at canadianlegacy.org.
The food drive runs until Nov. 15.