Holiday train rolls into Windsor with record-breaking donations of food and money
by Cici Deng
The CP Rail Yard on Janette Ave. was packed with hundreds of people waiting for this year’s Holiday Train.
The train arrived at around 4:15 p.m. and was decorated with different Christmas characters and snowflakes with colorful lights. So many people attended the event there was shortage of parking spots, and cars were parked on Church Street, over 1 km away from the yard.
Residents brought food or cash to donate to Windsor-Essex Food Bank Association.
Windsorite Cyndi Lafondkrsaw came to wait for the train an hour before the event started.
It is the fifth year she has come to see the Holiday Train. Every year she comes with her sons.
“I think it’s a wonderful opportunity for kids to learn about the train,” said Lafondkrsaw. “It brings awareness to the need for food in our community to help less fortunate people.”
Three vans were there to accommodate the food and money collected. The donations kicked off hours before the event started, and the food bank’s workers kept busy gathering foods.
Donations this year hit a new high according to Lynda Davidson, one of the staff at the food bank.
Davidson said the food bank has 15 branches all over Windsor-Essex County. Last year they collected between three and four thousand pounds of food in Windsor alone.
This year before the show even started they had already gotten almost three thousand pounds of foods.
“I am going to say we are going to beat last year,” said Davidson. “I can’t even put a number on how many people are here. I just know that this is a record amount year. ”
According to Salem Woodrow, CP spokesperson, the Holiday Train program is North America’s longest running rolling food bank fundraising program. They make about 150 stops in three weeks and all the donations they raised will stay in local food banks to help the community.
This year is the 18th year for the Holiday Train event. Woodrow said during the past 18 years, they have raised more than $12 million.
There are still 58 stations left for the Holiday Train to visit across Canada this season.