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Growing Hope in Niagara

Larry Dyck displays several ears of corn from his drought-afflicted field at Grow Hope Niagara. Photo: Simon Chambers

September 13, 2016

By Simon Chambers

“We’re lucky,” says Larry Dyck as he stands in the midst of 40 acres of drought-afflicted corn growing too slowly in Niagara region.  He’s showing the field to a group of Canadian Foodgrains Bank member-agency staff.  At best, he’ll be able to harvest 15-20% of what he had expected to from the crop.

“We have crop insurance,” Larry continues.  “We’ll still eat this winter.  And the heat will stay on in the house.  Life is good.  That’s not the case for the people we grow this corn for.”

Today, 1 in 9 people in the world don’t have enough food to eat.  Half of those are farmers.  They don’t have crop insurance or other safety nets that Canadian farmers benefit from.  If their crops fail, then their families will not have enough to eat this year.

Larry has worked with Foodgrains Bank growing projects for 20 years now, raising funds for farmers and other people who don’t have enough to eat on the other side of the world.  Larry works with local churches and other farmers in his community to plant, tend and harvest acres of crops, and then donates the proceeds from the sale of the resulting crop to the Foodgrains Bank.

Each of the 15 member churches—like PWRDF—have accounts with the Bank, and are able to use their accounts to fund projects that help to address hunger issues around the world.  Thanks to a partnership with Global Affairs Canada, many of these projects are matched 4:1 in funding.

Grow Hope Niagara is a 40-acre growing project raising funds for the Canadian Foodgrains Bank. Photo: Simon Chambers

Larry was adamant that he wanted to show a failing field to his visitors this day so that he could draw the comparison between the supports received by farmers in Canada and those in the developing world where Foodgrains Bank members work.  This contrast reinforces his own commitment to growing projects.

PWRDF’s Fred Says food security campaign is in its final year.  Through the three years of Fred Says, we have worked to help people understand the issues of food security, hunger, and the work to ensure that all people have enough good, healthy food to eat every day.  We have highlighted PWRDF partner programs around the world that are working to address these issues.  This work will continue long after the Fred Says campaign finishes.

We’re glad that people like Larry are also engaged in this work, that we have partners like the Foodgrains Bank, and for all the communities where people now have enough to eat thanks to their own hard work and the support of our partners in getting them started.

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