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Canadian Pacific Holiday Train raises money, food donations for food pantry

SANTA CLAUS HANDS OUT CANDY CANES to all the good little boys and girls at the Holiday Train Tuesday afternoon in Detroit Lakes. (Brian Basham/Tribune)2 / 6
THE CANADIAN PACIFIC HOLIDAY TRAIN made a stop in Detroit Lakes Tuesday afternoon. Several hundred people showed up for the event that benefits the Becker County Food Pantry.3 / 6
The Holiday Train stopped at the Holmes Street crossing for about 30 minutes.4 / 6
The Holiday Train Band performed during Tuesday's stop (top) in Detroit Lakes5 / 6
There was entertainment and hot cocoa, and Santa made an appearance. Donations to the Becker County Food Pantry were accepted during the Holiday Train stop in Detroit Lakes.6 / 6

Kids, parents and grandparents braved the cold weather to watch the Holiday Train storm into town with entertainment for a good cause.

The Canadian Pacific Holiday Train stopped in Detroit Lakes Tuesday and donated $1,000 to the Becker County Food Pantry in addition to help collect food for the Pantry.

For the fifth year in Detroit Lakes, the public came to drop off nonperishable food items, but also to celebrate the holiday season as Melanie Doane and her band performed Christmas favorites.

Santa Claus made an appearance and put smiles on many kids' faces, but everyone had a good time as they moved to the tunes the band performed on the specially-designed stage on the train.

The show ran for about 30 minutes, giving people plenty of time to donate to the pantry and realize the need to feed the hungry.

"Comparing month to month -- 2010, 2009 -- we've had 10 out of 11 increases in usage at the pantry," said Food Pantry Director Jack Berenz. "We've just had a lot more demand than we've had in the past."

He added that donations have been steady over the past few years and last year about 450 pounds of food were collected.

"And this year, we're gonna do better than that," he said before weighing the donations.

Since 1999, the CP Holiday Train program has raised $4.8 million and generated almost 2.3 million pounds of food donations for food shelves in different communities.

"The Holiday Train's mandate remains strong and that is to help tackle hunger, regardless of borders or size of community," Fred Green, CP's president and chief executive officer said in a news release. "At this critical time of year, CP employees and thousands of volunteers in Canada and the United States are again joining together in helping those less fortunate."