- Associated Press - Sunday, December 13, 2015

MINOT, N.D. (AP) - Canadian Pacific’s Holiday Train will soon bring its bright lights, festive music and charitable efforts to Minot and three other nearby communities.

The train is scheduled to arrive in the area Tuesday as it continues its journey across the U.S. and Canada, raising awareness about hunger, the Minot Daily News (https://bit.ly/1QAdCN8 ) reported. The train visits communities in Quebec, New York and southern Ontario before traveling across states in the northeast and Midwest, and then returns to Canada for its final stops in Saskatchewan and Alberta.

The train features 14 rail cars decorated with hundreds of thousands of lights and holiday-themed performances by professional musicians. Visitors are encouraged to donate money and nonperishable items to benefit a local food pantry.

The executive director of the Minot Area Homeless Coalition, Louis McLeod, said a different food pantry is picked every year as a beneficiary of the program. The Salvation Army has been chosen for this year.

McLeod said a truck meant to carry all nonperishable donations will be stationed at the Main Street crossing area in Minot, where the Holiday Train will arrive Tuesday night. The railway is urging people to donate heart-healthy items.



McLeod said people tend to struggle the most during the holiday season, but he has also noticed a huge increase in people needing help that “no one saw it coming.”

“When people are struggling, people will say ‘why do we need to do this for people?’ This is not just homeless people, it’s people who are struggling,” McLeod said. “Some are supplementing a meal by going into a soup kitchen and some are supplementing what it’s going to take them to get through a month by going to a food pantry. Otherwise they won’t survive.”

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Information from: Minot Daily News, https://www.minotdailynews.com

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