CALGARY, Alberta—The Canadian Pacific (CP) Holiday Train program is aiming to generate healthier donations this year as it makes its way across North America raising food, money, and awareness for local food banks and food shelves. The Holiday Train departed from Montreal on November 26 on its 16th annual coast-to-coast journey.
The online Healthy Donations Challenge encourages patrons attending Holiday Train events to take a second glance when pulling food out of their cupboards to ensure their non-perishable donations are nutritious and heart-healthy. CP’s goal is to have 20,000 people take an online pledge to underscore how important it is that everyone has access to nutritious food.
Food banks and food shelves welcoming the Holiday Train to their community this year are also being asked to commit 10 percent or more of CP’s monetary donation to healthy food initiatives or purchases.
“We’re excited to once again see CP’s Holiday Train travel across the country in support of community food banks,” says Katharine Schmidt, executive director, Food Banks Canada. “When so many Canadians are struggling just to get enough food to eat, programs like this help to ensure so many families and individuals can access essential food.”
Leaving the Montreal, Quebec, area on November 26 and 27 respectively, the U.S. and Canadian trains will make stops in over 150 communities as they travel across North America.
The U.S. Holiday Train will travel across the U.S. Northeast and Midwest before its final show December 17 in Weyburn, Saskatchewan, while the Canadian train will travel west and wrap up its journey December 18 in Port Coquitlam, British Columbia.
Each Holiday Train event features performances by professional musicians that include holiday-themed songs. There’s no charge to attend a Holiday Train show, but patrons are asked to bring a cash or non-perishable food donation. All money and food raised in a community stays there to help those in need locally.
A number of musicians will be joining the Holiday Train journey this year, including the pop rock band Odds, Roxanne Potvin, and Jim Cuddy (of Blue Rodeo fame) on the Canadian tour and, in the U.S., up-and-comer country star Kira Isabella along with a cappella sensations Home Free. Communities are encouraged to check the schedule online to see which performers will make a stop in their town.
The full CP Holiday Train schedule is now available on cpr.ca.