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Canadian military gives food to Afghans as Ramadan ends

The Canadian military gave Afghans supplies of food at its base in Kandahar City as locals prepared to celebrate the end of a month of fasting with three days of Eid celebrations.

The Canadian military handed out food supplies to Afghans at its base in Kandahar City as locals prepared to celebrate the end of a month of fasting with three days of Eid celebrations.

The military handed out flour, rice and cooking oil among other items after a local leader helped pick 200 of the poorest families living around the base.

"It is a great help to my family," one Afghan man told the CBC's Mellissa Fung.

For Canadian soldiers, it was a welcome change from their normal duties.

"This stuff here certainly makes us feel much better about ourselves," said Petty Officer Shawn Coates. "We're representing our country well and the people of our country."

Another local, Zhalil Ahmad, said that he was grateful for the help but complained that many of the recipients were not the poorest but those who had connections to the local leader the military used to help identify the neediest.

The military, which has provided Eid gifts in previous years, said it relied on a local district manager to help pick the families who he believed were the most deserving.

Despite the criticism, Coates said it's a small token of goodwill to help build trust between the military and locals.

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