Holiday Train “big for the food bank”

Lisa Goudy
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Canadian Pacific representatives Gabrielle Compain (left) and Salem Woodrow (right) present Moose Jaw and District Food Bank manager Terri Smith with a cheque for $10,000 on the CP Holiday Train on Dec. 5, 2013.

Moose Jaw and District Food Bank manager Terri Smith was very happy Thursday night.

“This is big for the food bank. It’s great for awareness. It brings a lot of food in on one night,” she said during the Canadian Pacific (CP) Holiday Train stop in Moose Jaw Thursday night.

The local Co-Op also helped donate food to coincide with the Holiday Train by selling bags of food. Smith said prior to the Holiday Train’s arrival, there was “well over” 3,000 pounds of food. With the Holiday Train, she expected approximately 1,000 pounds more.

“With it being so cold it’s hard to say,” said Smith. “Some people, they try to come down here and brave it out but it’s so cold.

“A lot of people don’t want to bring their kids when it’s a wind chill factor of - 40 (Celsius), which is understandable (and) not disappointing at all.”

Last year the event raised 4,260 pounds of food.

“Just to see all the people come out to see the Holiday Train, you get that Christmas spirit. You get that feeling of giving and you know your community is helping the food bank,” she said. “So that’s always good.”

She said the turnout at the Holiday Train was good, although other years have seen better turnouts.

“Anytime we have a crowd like this, it’s always really nice,” said Smith. “It lets everybody know that there are people around us that are having a hard time and this helps us boost our shelves to give a little bit more food that we can add that little extra to everybody’s hamper.”

She said right now the food bank has a “little bit of everything.” The annual Better Together Food Drive on Halloween helped bring in a lot of food as well. Items the food bank is always short of is baby formula, Kraft Dinner, cereals, crackers and other “basic staples.”

“Between October and January is our biggest collection of food,” said Smith. “Throughout the rest of the year, donations go down quite a bit in spring and summer and fall where as more in the wintertime, closer to Christmas it’s the season of giving.

“That kind of sustains us until next year. So we try to get the word out there as much as we can and (CP) tries to get the word out there all across Canada, letting people know that there are people that need help and this is our time to give.”

Follow Lisa Goudy on Twitter @lisagoudy.


Organizations: Canadian Pacific, Celsius

Geographic location: Moose Jaw, Canada

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