Harvesters reap bumper crop for charity

Helping a hungry world

Crossborders Growing Project at Kola harvested a record wheat crop this fall, averaging over 70 bushels per acre. This project, organized once again by Don and Jan Neufeld, drew farmers and agricultural industry help.

Canadian Foodgrains Bank Manitoba coordinator Gordon Janzen attended the harvest. He said, “The Crossborders growing project… near Kola, MB, was the first harvest event that I was able to attend this year. With 10 combines, nine trucks and four grain carts, it was truly a community event and took just three hours to combine 275 acres!”

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Neufeld said the field of No. 1 high protein wheat yielded 72 bushels per acre. At $6 per bu. the crop is valued at over $118 thousand.

The Government of Canada matches $4 for every dollar that the Canadian Foodgrains Bank raises.

There are many growing projects throughout Canada. In 2019-20, Canadian Foodgrains Bank provided $42 million of assistance for 866,000 people in 34 countries.

Janzen tells of one particular part of the world where the Foodgrains and the Humanitarian Coalition are helping.

He says, “Lebanon has a special place in my heart since my wife, Linda, and I worked with MCC in that country for a couple years in the early ‘90s. It was particularly disturbing for me to hear news about the devastating explosion in the port of Beirut on Aug. 4.”

Janzen said an acquaintance who lives just four kms from the blast site told of glass in their apartment that was blown out and how their building, and many others in Beirut, had sustained serious structural damage.

“The blast damaged Beirut’s main grain silo which held about 85 per cent of the country’s grain stocks,” said Janzen. “With more than 1.5 million Syrian refugees, Lebanon hosts the world’s largest number of refugees per capita. Hunger was already getting bad in Lebanon because of COVID-19, and the Aug. 4 explosion makes it still worse.”

He said the Government of Canada has recognized the need and has committed $8 million to match donations to the Humanitarian Coalition, including Canadian Foodgrains Bank.

The Foodgrains Bank Manitoba events have changed this fall, due to COVID-19 protocols, to include a virtual concert on Friday, October 16th, 8:00 pm: Virtual “Singin’ in the Grain”. This online concert will feature the music of the Quonset Brothers from Winkler, sister-brother duo Kristel Peters and Korey Peters from Steinbach, and Steve Bell from Winnipeg.

 Donations will support food security programs of Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) as it responds to the COVID-19 pandemic. Details of events can be found online at www.foodgrainsbank.ca/singin.

The Foodgrains Bank’s 2020 Annual Report and map of country projects is also available on the website.

© Virden Empire-Advance