With special guest: Gabrielle Belanger, Supervisor Support Services, Canadian Pacific Railway, Moose Jaw
For 19 years, the CP Holiday Train has travelled across the US and Canada, stopping in towns and cities to deliver live music and setting the stage for seasonal festivities. More importantly, the CP Holiday Train helps raise money and heart-healthy food items for local food banks. Lighting up the dark winter skies with its festive bulbs and decorations, it brings joy and hope across the country with the acknowledgment that not everyone has it easy over the holiday season, including neighbours in our own communities.
Since 1999, the Holiday Train program has raised close to C$13 million and about 4 million pounds of food for food banks in our home towns. With families continuing to turn to food banks, the need to build awareness is important and so is the action of giving back.
The community of Moose Jaw is a great example of people coming together to celebrate the holiday season while taking part in supporting those experiencing hunger. Gabrielle Belanger, Supervisor Support Services of Canadian Pacific Railway in Moose Jaw recounts how the CP Holiday Train has grown to become a special event the community rallies behind:
When the CP Holiday Train pulls into Moose Jaw, the community really comes together and takes it to a new level. Since 2009, I’ve worked with the local radio station and the Moose Jaw CO-OP to fill the shelves of our local food bank in time for the holiday season. Their “Good-Buy to Hunger” bags come pre-filled with items needed by the local food bank, and members of the community purchase the bags for $10.00. The value of the bags over the years has ranged from $18 – $24. It’s definitely a cherished community event and we see the value in coming together to help those in need.
I’m proud to be a CP employee because I know the food and donations that the CP Holiday Train raises stay in the 171 communities the train passes through. I also know that we provide help to the Food Banks Canada National Food Sharing System by donating critical transportation support. I can see the fruits of our labour with my own eyes and it feels good.
With hundreds of thousands of lights and live musical acts, the CP Holiday Train has become a festive tradition for many Canadians. The ongoing partnership between Food Banks Canada and Canadian Pacific Railway only makes it a more satisfying and worthy part of the holiday season.
We hope that you will take the opportunity to participate in the activities, as the CP Holiday Train may be making a stop in your local community! To find out, check out the CP Holiday Train schedule.