Now it’s up to the Canadian Pacific Railway Holiday Train to give the final push to the Friends in Need Food Bank.
The train stops at Port Haney station on Friday at 7:30 p.m., then moves on to Harris Road in Pitt Meadows at 8:45 p.m., as it completes its cross-Canada Christmas journey.
Everyone’s welcome to come see the train and enjoy the entertainment, with cash or food donations to the food bank welcomed.
The stop in Pitt Meadows is a good venue because people can check out the train from both sides, said food bank executive-director Mary Robson.
Jim Cuddy of Blue Rodeo fame and son Devin, along with country singer Kelly Prescott will provide the entertainment.
Last weekend’s Firefighters for Families drive collected a small mountain of food outside the major grocery stores, which Friends in Need volunteers are now sorting through.
Maple Ridge firefighters collected $12,084 in cash and 819 pounds of food. Pitt Meadows firefighters collected $5,776 in cash and 692 pounds of food.
“We’ve got a really nice product from the grocery stores during the Firefighters for Families drive last weekend, so it’s all new and so we’re putting all that inventory aside and using everything up that we’re getting from the food drives now,” Robson said.
“But we know it will be depleted as we get into mid- to late-spring.”
Last year, the food bank had to find extra warehouse space for 10 pallets of canned goods. It doesn’t need that extra space this year.
“Things are down this year. One of the first indications was personal donations. They’re down. That’s usually an indicator of the economy,” Robson said.
Donations, generally, are down about 20 per cent, she added.
So the Holiday Train will help.
Last year, the it collected more than $5,000 and 5,400 food items for the food bank at the two local stops.