Timeline: Foodgrains Bank marks 35 Years of working to end global hunger

2018 marks 35 years of Canadian Foodgrains Bank member churches and church agencies working together to end hunger.

The Foodgrains Bank was created in 1983 as a way for Canadian farmers, people who work in the agricultural sector, and other Canadians to respond to the needs of people around the world who don’t have enough to eat. The Foodgrains Bank emerged out of the Mennonite Central Committee Food Bank that had been created in 1975.

Today, we have 15 member churches and church-based agencies, representing 30 Canadian denominations, all united in the belief that God doesn’t want anyone to be hungry.

Browse the timeline below to see some of the highlights from our 35-year history.

2003

2003: Foodgrains Bank responds to drought in Ethiopia

The Foodgrains Bank’s members respond to a serious drought in Ethiopia, sending 9,700 tonnes of wheat to help 41,000 people.

2005

2005: Canadian government partially unties food aid

Following advocacy efforts led by the Foodgrains Bank, the Canadian government agrees to the partial untying of food aid, allowing  50 percent of government food aid funds to be used to buy food closer to areas of need in the developing world. Until this time, these funds had to be used to buy Canadian grain for shipment overseas. Untying aid saved money, time and provided support for farmers in developing countries.

2006

2006: Foodgrains Bank begins conservation agriculture programming

The Foodgrains Bank undertakes its first conservation agriculture project. The project is implemented by The United Church of Canada through its partner Christian Care in Zimbabwe.

2007

2007: One millionth tonne of food shipped; two new members

The one millionth tonne of food is shipped. Canadian Catholic Organization for Development & Peace (now Development and Peace–Caritas Canada), and the Primate’s World Relief & Development Fund (Anglican Church of Canada) join, bringing membership to 15.

2008

2008: Canadian government unties food aid completely

2008: Canadian government unties food aid completely

The Canadian government unties food aid completely, allowing the Foodgrains Bank to use all funds provided by the government to buy food in the developing world.

2009

2009: Climate change effects examined

The Foodgrains Bank begins to examine the effect that climate change is having on smallholder farmers in the developing world.

2010

2010: Canadian government makes food security a priority

2010: Canadian government makes food security a priority

With urging from the Foodgrains Bank, the Government of Canada makes food security one of three priorities of its aid program.

2011

2011: Major emergency food response in East Africa

The Foodgrains Bank’s members respond to a major food emergency in East Africa, including famine in parts of Somalia. Harvest of Letters is created as a way for Canadians to advocate to members of Parliament on behalf of hungry people in the developing world.

2012

2012: Syria war response

The Foodgrains Bank plays a leadership role in the negotiation of a new Food Assistance Convention that provides for greater flexibility when using government food assistance funding to help hungry people. Members begin to respond to the needs of people affected by the war in Syria.

2013

2013: 30th anniversary of working together to end hunger

The Foodgrains Bank marks 30 years of working to end global hunger and celebrates 30 years of partnership with the Canadian government.

2014

2014: Parliamentary Committee Appearance

The Foodgrains Bank is invited to appear before a Parliamentary Committee to present why food and hunger should remain a priority for the Canadian government’s aid program.

2015

2015: Conservation Agriculture and Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Grants

2015: Conservation Agriculture and Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Grants

The Foodgrains Bank receives a $14 million grant from the Canadian government to scale up its conservation agriculture work in East Africa. The Foodgrains Bank receives a grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to encourage the Canadian government to keep up its support for agriculture in the developing world. Also that year, a concert series called Spring into Song is created to give people another way to raise funds for the Foodgrains Bank.

2016

2016: African drought response

The Foodgrains Bank responds to drought in Africa. It also launches Aid4Agriculture, a multi-organizational campaign to encourage the Canadian government to increase support for agriculture in the developing world.

2017

2017: Africa famine response

2017: Africa famine response

The Foodgrains Bank responds to risk of famine in South Sudan, Nigeria and Somalia.

2018

2018: Foodgrains Bank members celebrate 35 years of working together to end hunger

2018: Foodgrains Bank members celebrate 35 years of working together to end hunger

The members of the Foodgrains mark 35 years of working together to end global hunger.