Ontario Churches Celebrate 20 Years of Foodgrains Projects

On the last Sunday of April, churches in the Admaston area of eastern Ontario gathered at Hebron Christian Reformed Church in Renfrew to celebrate their 20th season of raising funds to fight world hunger through the Canada Foodgrains Bank (CFGB).

Communities across Canada participate in yearly growing projects, selling the crop from a specific area of land and donating the money to CFGB for projects that alleviate hunger around the world. In most cases, the land, seed, fertilizer, and fuel are donated. The Canadian government matches the funds on a four to one basis.

With a “Spring into Song” social at the church, many of those involved in the projects enjoyed singing, eating, and watching video presentations that highlighted how their efforts help others around the world. Since its beginning, this Admaston growing project has raised over $132,000, which adds up to well over half a million dollars with the government matching funds.

The Admaston project began in 1996 when local farmer David Reid was interested in starting a donation project modeled on grain programs from Winnipeg, Man., where farmers, churches, businesses and individuals would grow a crop, sell it, and then forward the proceeds to the Canadian Foodgrains Bank.

“Reid passed the enthusiasm on to a few others, and the first crop was planted on land donated by Meindert van der Galien. An official group was formed and it has grown from there,” said project secretary Lynn Clelland. Hebron CRC, Grace United Church of Admaston, St. Francis Xavier Roman Catholic church, Trinity St. Andrew's United church, and Renfrew Presbyterian Church partner to support this project.

Van der Galien, a member of Hebron and founding member of the Admaston project, spoke of how this grain share has truly been a community effort. While he donated the use of his land, the town came together to help with costs for seed, labour, fertilizers, and fuel for machinery. Even a local restaurant brought food for those working the land.

“All these donations enable us to keep our costs down which results in larger yearly donations,” explained Clelland.

As part of their celebration on Sunday, a collection was taken for the Canadian Foodgrains Bank to acknowledge that while they have been blessed throughout the 20 seasons of harvest, there is still great need in many parts of the world.

About the Author

Krista Dam-Vandekuyt is a freelance news correspondent for The Banner. She lives in Jerseyville, Ontario.

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