B y Derek Liebig
The Canadian Pacific Holiday Train will roll through Whitehall Thursday without stopping, but the company has not forgotten the community’s hungry.
Officials announced Monday that although the train will not pull into the Amtrak Station on Main Street, it will still make a donation to the Whitehall Food Pantry.
“We recognize the work done by the food pantry and the need for it and will be making a cash donation to the Whitehall Food Pantry,” Andy Cummings, a public affairs officer for Canadian Pacific said.
Although Cummings declined to release the sum, he said it will not be less than what the local food pantry received in previous years. Last year, Canadian Pacific donated $1,500 to the pantry.
The news that the train would not be stopping in Whitehall triggered an outpouring of support among residents who were concerned about the effect the exclusion would have on the Whitehall Food Pantry.
A number of residents are preparing a holiday-themed event that will be held from 6 to 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 5, at Riverside Veterans Memorial Park, and will benefit the pantry, and organizers of a “Mini-Mall” scheduled for Dec. 7 at the Whitehall Athletic Club is asking local vendors and patrons to make a donation during the event.
“People are starting to realize there is need,” Gorton said.
The food pantry serves around 180 local families every year and is dependent on donations from local individuals and organizations.
Although demand isn’t overwhelming, Gorton said the pantry remains busy.
Cummings said there wouldn’t a formal event to mark Canadian Pacific’s donation but the pantry should receive the money in the next few weeks.
Whitehall was left off this year’s schedule so that the train could visit other communities but Whitehall appears to be one of the few local communities that was among last year’s stops that wasn’t included this year.
The Holiday Train will pass through the area on Thanksgiving Day. It will make stops at Fort Edward (12:45 p.m.), Ticonderoga (3:15 p.m.), Port Henry (5 p.m.), Plattsburgh (7:30 p.m.) and Rouses Point (9:15 p.m.).