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Good Souls Talk About Good Soil

Canadian Foodgrains Bank volunteers visit Parliament Hill.

June 7, 2016

By Debbie Boyd-Chisholm

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Did you know that 1 in 9 people in the world are hungry?  70% of these people, mostly women, are small-scale farmers in developing countries who struggle with bad soils and uncertain climates.  The Canadian Foodgrains Bank partners with 15 Canadian churches and church-based agencies to help small-scale farmers and end world hunger.  The Anglican Church of Canada partners with the Foodgrains Bank through the Primate’s World Relief and Development Fund.

As part of the ‘Good Soil’ Campaign, twenty-five Foodgrains Bank volunteers came to Ottawa from across Canada to ask Members of Parliament to increase the Canadian government’s support for small-scale agriculture in our international aid programs. Anglican participants included Jane Maxwell (Chair of the Diocesan Primates’ World Relief and Development Fund Committee), Lisa Probst, Gary Weir, and Debbie Boyd-Chisholm from the Diocese of Ottawa.

In 1976, the Mennonite Central Committee started a project so Canadian grain farmers could send their harvest to feed starving people in developing countries.  During the 1983 Ethiopian famine, that project was opened to other church agencies and re-established as the Canadian Foodgrains Bank.  Although CFGB is still best known for feeding hungry people during times of crisis, they also work directly with farmers in developing countries to increase food production and advocate with governments around the world to enact policies to end global hunger.

PWRDF joined the Foodgrains Bank in 2007 and has supported food projects in a number of countries including India, South Africa and South Sudan.

The Foodgrains Bank’s ‘Good Soil’ Campaign encourages Christians to pray for those who are hungry and to write to their Members of Parliament to ask them to increase Canada’s global agriculture aid funding.

Individuals and urban churches can donate funds directly or fund local ‘Growing Projects’ where crops are planted, harvested and sold to raise money for the Foodgrains Bank. The Ottawa Valley hosts some of these Growing Projects, including  Mississippi Mills, Pakenham, Arnprior, Fitzroy Harbour, St John’s and Inkerman. The Canadian Foodgrains Bank also provides opportunities for interested people to tour farming regions in developing countries.  Donors can designate their donation for the PWRDF account with the Foodgrains Bank.

The Canadian Foodgrains Bank web site provides more information, bilingual brochures and educational resources.  Please join us and thousands of other Canadian Christians in the fight against global hunger!

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