Good food, fellowship and fun was the order of the day at the annual Foodgrains Charity Auction on November 14 at the Fellowship Community Church (FCC) in Waskada. A total of 17,307 was raised for the Canadian Foodgrains Bank (CFB). The evening began with a delicious supper of soup, buns, various meats and cheese, and of course desserts. Supper is provided by FCC members and friends and the Souris Valley Hutterite Colony.
Harold Penner, former Manitoba Regional Representative for CFB, was in attendance and spoke briefly about the CFB. “I’ve been coming to this event for several years and I’m am always amazed at the dedication and generosity in making it so successful year after year.”
“People often ask how does the CFB do its work. Do we ship the grain?” In answer to that question, Penner gave a brief history of the CFB.
The CFB was started in the 1970s. At that time farmers had wheat they couldn’t sell and wanted to send it to people in need. Others joined and all worked together. “The marketing systems have changed. In 2008 the government untied the Food Aid and we could buy the wheat from wherever was needed and convert it to cash which is much easier to store than grain, and is so much more efficient.”
Penner said there is a big need right now for aid to Mozambique and Zimbabwe that were hit hard by Hurricane Idai. That area was starting to rebuild and was hit by another hurricane. As well, the Syrian refugee situation is ongoing and there is a dire need there. “CFB provided $40 million if food aid this past year — $25 million was in matching funds from the government. The projects funded are Agriculture and Livelihoods programs. Climate change especially is affecting African farmers, they need to learn how to adjust arming practices for the new realities.”
In Manitoba, there were 36 grow projects — that faced very hard, wet, difficult harvests. “We are still more fortunate than farmers in other countries — we are reminded that even in a very challenging year, we probably aren’t going to go hungry. In other countries, despite their hard work, they often do go hungry. A very sobering thought is that half of the people that go hungry in the world are actually farmers.”
“When you support the CFB you are supporting a very good charity. I would encourage you to keep supporting this cause as it has a high impact on the lives of many,” concluded Penner.
Peter Downey very capably handled the auctioneer duties, keeping things moving along with efficiency and a lot of humour. The items are high in numbers and variety — from nuts and bolts to quilts to furniture and all things in between. And when all the dust was settled, $17,307 was raised for the CFB. The Government of Canada provides CFB with a 4:1 matching grant up to a maximum of $25 million every year.
A big shout out to everyone who helps to make the annual CFB charity auction a huge success!