When I look back on the last 23 years of my life, I am deeply grateful for the wonderful opportunity that I was given to lead this unique and remarkable organization. I remember the decision my wife and I made to relocate our relatively young family from Eritrea in East Africa to Winnipeg, sensing this was an opportunity for which I was uniquely prepared and called. We have made Winnipeg our home and our three children have grown up into prospering adults.
I have many good memories of getting to know supporters across the country and experiencing the amazing generosity and compassion of so many Canadians. When I have had moments of discouragement, this could be quickly cured with a trip to meet supporters like you. I still see the faces and hear the stories of many families we have helped around the world, including mothers facing drought in Niger, Syrian refugees in camps in Lebanon, farmers working on steep slopes in Ethiopia and malnourished children in North Korea. Some of these faces still haunt me and continually remind me of why we are doing what we do. At the same time, many of the stories I heard provide me with hope knowing that we are making a difference and that hunger is not inevitable. Jesus does not give us the option to stand aside with a spirit of hopelessness or cynicism.
In this final year of mine, when COVID-19 has disrupted the lives of so many Canadians and others around the world, I have again been struck by the generosity of many of you who have not just looked at your own problems but have continued to think of others facing hunger.
I have worked, and often developed friendships, with many staff, board members, church leaders, government officials and partners over the past 23 years. And what I have learned is that the work of ending hunger is not something that one can do alone—it requires many people working together. In this final year of mine, when COVID-19 has disrupted the lives of so many Canadians and others around the world, I have again been struck by the generosity of many of you who have not just looked at your own problems but have continued to think of others facing hunger. With this generosity, coupled with the expertise, commitment and ability to adapt of our member churches and their partners, we have been able to continue providing essential food to people in crisis and help families affected by the pandemic protect and restore their livelihoods.
One of the founders of Canadian Foodgrains Bank recently told me, “It was for a time like this” that we were created. It is gratifying to know the Foodgrains Bank and its network of churches and partners has grown into one of Canada’s leading organizations responding to hunger. Thank you for working with us toward a world without hunger. It has been a deep privilege to have been part of this God-given mission.
– Jim Cornelius, Outgoing Executive Director