Canada’s ag-focused businesses are finding new ways to support the Foodgrains Bank.
At real estate firm FarmOntario, a percentage of the brokers’ commissions are donated to the Foodgrains Bank, to be used in the work of responding to hunger around the world.
For Phil Spoelstra, one of the firm’s two owners, it’s important to give back to the wider global community. “The pandemic has highlighted how lucky we are here in Canada,” he says. “From our farmers to our shelves we have a consistent supply of food, and we know this is the objective Foodgrains is working towards in parts of our world that don’t have this same security.”
Near Listowel, Ontario, Ray Dykstra called Andrew Coghlin, president of Molesworth Farms Supply Ltd. (MFS), as the business was getting ready to open up its new feed manufacturing facility.
Dykstra, a long-time supporter of the Foodgrains Bank as well as a regular customer and supplier for MFS, had a great idea. “Molesworth Farm Supply has been an integral part of Windy Lane Farms and our family’s success since we began farming in 1978 and we were excited for them on this milestone,” says Dykstra. “But I’d rolled this idea of the first load being donated around in my head for months.”
Coghlin was enthusiastic and agreed that MFS would match the donation. “This is about recognizing challenges around the globe and this is our time to recognize global nutrition,” he says. “Both our families take these issues seriously.”
In Manitoba, Prairie Metal Recycling and its sister company Rustic Scrap Metal in Saskatchewan, pick up old farm equipment and deliver to recycling facilities. Sometimes their customers had asked them to donate the proceeds to a charity, which made them think they should have a charitable side of their work.
Surveying the area, they noticed many Foodgrains Bank signs in fields and after looking into the organization, decided to join the fight against global hunger. Currently, $5 for every ton collected by both companies are donated to the Foodgrains Bank.
As well, some businesses support growing projects. A growing project is a section of land that is planted, harvested and sold, and the proceeds from the crops are sent to the Foodgrains Bank to help fight hunger.
In Saskatchewan, local companies like G-Mac’s AgTeam provide growing projects with much needed inputs such as seed, fertilizer and crop protection products. Nutrien Ag Solutions, a larger organization, does the same in Saskatchewan and Alberta. Agricultural company Viterra also serves growing projects in both these provinces by donating the land around six of its grain elevator terminals for volunteers to use.
In Alberta, Agriculture Financial Services Corporation (AFSC) eases the minds of that region’s growing projects. AFSC donates the first $80/acre of hail insurance for every growing project in the province.
“AFSC’s generous donation to provide hail insurance coverage to Albertan growing projects like ours provides a great sense of relief when storm clouds come rolling in,” says Mikaela LeMay, coordinator for the Young Guns growing project near Trochu, Alberta.
Darryl Kay, chief executive officer for AFSC, says they are proud to support these growing projects. “By sponsoring straight hail coverage, these projects are more important than ever, with even more vulnerability around food security.”
Also in Alberta, a full-service marketing agency AdFarm supports the Foodgrains Bank with its services and expertise. This year, the Canadian Agri-food Marketers Alliance recognized AdFarm for the Foodgrains Bank campaign It Takes More Than Food that invited more people into the mission to end global hunger.
AdFarm account director Amanda Howard says achieving recognition from agri-marketing peers at Best of CAMA is greatly appreciated by rewarding the hard work and long hours of their teams. “To be awarded a Certificate of Merit for the Digital Billboard for Canadian Foodgrains Bank is a real achievement,” she said. “The creative for the It Takes More than Food campaign was different than the normal donation campaign creative and for that we’re especially grateful for the communications team at Canadian Foodgrains Bank for trusting us to push the creative process to an award-winning level.”
So, whether you raise your voice in a conversation, with a sign, or even just talking to your neighbour, know that people and even businesses are seeing your leadership in the fight against global hunger.
This article was originally published in the winter 2022 edition of Breaking Bread.