Food­grains Bank cel­e­brates 35 years of phi­lan­thropy

Prairie Post (West Edition) - - Prairies - BY HEATHER CAMERON

Food­grains Bank truly makes a dif­fer­ence to peo­ple in need and in 2018, the Food­grains Bank is cel­e­brat­ing 35 years.

In 2017-18 alone, they helped over 800,000 peo­ple in 34 coun­tries.

“Cana­dian Food­grains Bank is a part­ner­ship of 15 churches and church agen­cies,” Amanda Thorsteins­son, Com­mu­ni­ca­tions Co­or­di­na­tor for Food­grains Bank, said. “We were founded by Cana­dian farm­ers about 30 years ago who wanted to share of their abun­dance with peo­ple around the world who were suf­fer­ing from the scourge of hunger.

Thorsteins­son says that the Food­grains Bank works to end hunger in about 35 coun­tries around the world by pro­vid­ing emer­gency food to peo­ple in times of emer­gency such as war or drought. Longer-term devel­op­ment as­sis­tance is pro­vided to help peo­ple pro­vide for them­selves in the longert­erm, and emer­gency nu­tri­tional sup­port and nutri­tion ed­u­ca­tion is also pro­vided for many, par­tic­u­larly for moth­ers and young chil­dren. Re­cently, Food­grains Bank was in­cluded on the Char­ity In­tel­li­gence 2018 list of the top 10 char­i­ties in Canada for so­cial re­turn on in­vest­ment.

Thorsteins­son says that while Food­grains Bank has al­ways been con­fi­dent in the im­pact of their work, they are glad to have this in­de­pen­dent af­fir­ma­tion that their work is truly mak­ing a dif­fer­ence.

Founded in 1983, Cana­dian Food­grains Bank is a part­ner­ship of 15 church and church-based agen­cies work­ing to­gether to end global hunger.

Ac­cord­ing to their web­site, each year, the Cana­dian gov­ern­ment pro­vides the Bank with $25 mil­lion in match­ing fi­nan­cial sup­port.

“Char­ity In­tel­li­gence is a char­ity watch­dog or­ga­ni­za­tion that in­de­pen­dently ex­am­ines char­i­ties.” Thorsteins­son said. “Their mis­sion is to pro­vide Cana­dian donors with in­for­ma­tion that helps them make in­formed and in­tel­li­gent giv­ing de­ci­sions to have the great­est im­pact.”

Thorsteins­son says that Food­grains Bank cur­rently has ap­prox­i­mately230 grow­ing projects across Canada where farm­ers and farm sup­port­ers grow a crop to­gether, sell the crop on the Cana­dian mar­ket, and donate the pro­ceeds to the Food­grains Bank. Food­grains Bank uses the dona­tions to help end hunger around the world.

Many farm­ers also ded­i­cate an acre of their land or a truck­load to the Food­grains Bank when they take it to their lo­cal el­e­va­tor. Ad­di­tion­ally, cat­tle auc­tions are or­ga­nized to ben­e­fit the Food­grains Bank, and some­times peo­ple will donate an in­di­vid­ual cow or beef cat­tle to the Bank.

The of­fices for Food­grains Bank are lo­cated in Win­nipeg, Man­i­toba and they re­ceive fund­ing through in­di­vid­ual dona­tions, dona­tions from churches, busi­nesses, grow­ing projects, and through the Gov­ern­ment of Canada, which pro­vides an an­nual match­ing grant of up to $25 mil­lion a year.

“We are deeply grate­ful to the many Cana­di­ans who give gen­er­ously to the Food­grains Bank and trust us to ste­ward their dona­tions wisely,” Thorsteins­son said. “It is some­thing we do not un­der­take lightly, and we are glad their trust in us is af­firmed by these re­sults from Char­ity In­tel­li­gence."

Through the Food­grains Bank, Thorsteins­son says, all 15 ma­jor Cana­dian Chris­tian de­nom­i­na­tions (are work­ing to­gether to achieve a com­mon goal—a world with­out hunger. To­gether with sup­port from in­di­vid­ual Cana­di­ans, grow­ing projects, churches, farm­ers and oth­ers, Food­grains Bank is able to help about 800,000 peo­ple each year.

“It’s a joy to meet the nu­mer­ous peo­ple across Canada who are so ded­i­cated to help­ing peo­ple they have never met but who are suf­fer­ing from hunger,” Thorsteins­son said. “It’s an in­cred­i­ble bless­ing to be able to be part of such an in­cred­i­ble or­ga­ni­za­tion.”

File pho­tos

The Cop­per­field Colony con­trib­uted to the event cook­ing two pigs prior to pig roast with all pro­ceeds go­ing to the Food­grains Bank con­tri­bu­tions from Vaux­hall. Here, they get ready in prepa­ra­tion to serve dur­ing the an­nual sum­mer event in 2016. Left, Ben­nen Farms have been ma­jor sup­ports in Vaux­hall.

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