Annual Abbotsford auction to raise funds for emergency food assistance in the Middle East

Wednesday, February 19, 2020
Our News
Last year’s Make a Difference auction in Abbotsford, B.C. raised a record-breaking $269,000 for ending world hunger

Make a Difference Auction—March 12—Abby Stockyard in Abbotsford B.C.

The annual Make a Difference Auction in support of ending world hunger will take place at Abby Stockyard in Abbotsford B.C. on March 12 this year.

“It’s a practical and fantastic way for local farmers and businesses to play a part in helping end global hunger by coming together as an entire industry and community to help farmers and struggling communities in developing countries,” says Rob Brandsma, who along with his team of dedicated volunteers, heads up the auction.

Traditionally the auction has been mostly cattle and farm-related items, but recent years have seen plenty of other items available, including fresh fruit, ice cream, artisan cheeses, golf passes, fishing trips, and even a lawn tractor. Proceeds from the sale of the items are donated to Canadian Foodgrains Bank for its work in ending world hunger.

It’s amazing what our community can accomplish when we work together.

“It’s amazing what our community can accomplish when we work together,” says Brandsma. “Every effort makes such a difference. I’m grateful for the volunteer organizers, staff at the stockyard, folks who donate cattle and other items, and those who bid on items, knowing their money is going toward a worthwhile cause.”

Last year the auction broke their record and raised almost $269,000.

“It was an incredible moment,” says Brandsma. “I’m hoping we can do that again this year.”

Bidders were generous last year—a wheel of cheese went for more than $300.

The event starts at 10 a.m. at Abby Stockyard in Abbotsford with general auction items. Lunch will be generously provided by RBC Royal Banks and available at 12 p.m., and the cattle auction begins at approximately 12:45 p.m.

The auction has raised over $2.5 million since its inception in the mid-90s. Proceeds have been used to help farmers in countries like Ethiopia and Kenya learn new farming techniques to grow more food for their families, and to provide emergency food to families in South Sudan affected by conflict. This year, proceeds will be used to help families who are living through conflict in countries in the Middle East like Lebanon, Syria and Yemen.

“More families around the world are experiencing hunger as a result of conflict,” says Musu Taylor-Lewis, Foodgrains Bank director of resource and public engagement. “We are beyond grateful for the tireless contributions of those involved in the Make a Difference Auction for helping support families in the Middle East during some of their toughest times.”

“All these contributions help us move together toward a world without hunger and make a big difference to the people who can go to sleep without a worry of what they will eat the next day,” she adds.

If you would like to Make a Difference this year, contact Rob at or plan to attend the auction on March 12 at Abby Stockyard.

– Shaylyn McMahon, Communications Coordinator

Share this story