February 5-11 is International Development Week, a week set aside to celebrate and reflect on the contributions Canadians are making to alleviate poverty around the world.
Through the Foodgrains Bank, Canadians have been making a difference in many ways—through growing projects, fundraising events, individual donations and by writing letters and e-mails to the Prime Minister or Members of Parliament to encourage Canada to keep or adopt policies that contribute to ending global hunger.
The B.C. Pedaling for Hope cyclathon is an example of the many ways people from across Canada are helping end global hunger. Rain or shine (in this year’s case rain!) riders in B.C. cycle every year to raise money for the Foodgrains Bank.
* * *
It rained hard on Sept. 17, but it didn’t dampen the enthusiasm of 113 riders at the MCC B.C. Pedaling for Hope cyclathon.
The annual event, which found riders from ages 7 to 80 years-old riding 20 or 50 kilometres, raised over $250,000 for the MCC account in Canadian Foodgrains Bank.
The funds, which included a $100,000 matching donation from over a dozen businesspeople in the province, will be used to assist Syrian refugees in Lebanon, with support from the Foodgrains Bank.
In addition to the cyclathon, which is part of the annual MCC B.C. Festival for World Relief in Abbotsford, an additional $186,000 was raised for the MCC account in the Foodgrains Bank through the Bread of Life auction at the Festival.
After 4:1 matching by the Government of Canada, over $2.1 million will be made available through the Foodgrains Bank for MCC’s work in Lebanon.
The funds will be used to support MCC’s work in Lebanon through its partners, where it is providing food and other assistance for refugees from Syria.
MCC is also supporting peacebuilding work, education for displaced children, trauma healing and will provide supplies to keep people warm in the coming winter.
One MCC partner in Lebanon, Popular Aid for Relief and Development (PARD) has stated that the assistance from MCC and the Foodgrains Bank has given the refugees “a sense of dignity, hope and reason to hang in there while they wait to return home to Syria.”
With support from the government of Canada, since 2012 the Foodgrains Bank has provided over $29 million of assistance for people affected by the war in Syria. Click here to make a donation to the Foodgrains Bank Syria response. Click here to visit the MCC website to learn more its work in the region.