From the desk of the executive director

Friday, November 1, 2019

Foodgrains Bank executive director Jim Cornelius with Malawian farmer Kalisto Rular. Kalisto and his family received monthly packages of flour, beans and cooking oil through Foodgrains Bank member Presbyterian World Service & Development with financial support from the Humanitarian Coalition after Cyclone Idai destroyed all of his maize crop. (Photo: Shaylyn McMahon)

It’s hard to believe it’s been 22 years since I started in my role as executive director of the Foodgrains Bank, moving from Eritrea in East Africa to Winnipeg with my young family. I never imagined that this would end up being such a significant part of my life’s work.

However, the time has come for a new person to lead this wonderful organization and network. Our board has begun the search for a new executive director, and I will handover responsibility to a new leader in 2020.

I am confident the Foodgrains Bank is well-positioned to continue the mission of working to end global hunger.

I have been blessed by the confidence that was shown in a relatively young and untested leader when I was offered this position those many years ago, and trust that I have been worthy of that calling.

Over this time, we have grown the support for the Foodgrains Bank while remaining true to our Canadian farming and rural roots. We’ve expanded our membership to include most of the major Christian churches in Canada.

And we’ve kept the confidence of the Government of Canada as their primary Canadian partner in the delivery of international food assistance, including continuing our longtime matching agreement.

What moves me the most is knowing we have supported Canadian churches and their partners as they accompany communities around the world facing hunger. I know that millions of families facing crises, such as droughts in Ethiopia, famine conditions in North Korea, displacement in Syria, and hurricanes in Haiti, have received life-saving food. Thousands of children have been treated for severe malnutrition. And many people who have worked to strengthen livelihoods, irrigate crops and rebuild soils are better able to feed themselves.

I am confident the Foodgrains Bank is well-positioned to continue the mission of working to end global hunger. We know this mission is not something that any of us does alone. It requires all of us.

I pray that God may enliven and prosper this continuing work until all are able to sit around the great banquet table enjoying good food and the fellowship of each others’ company.

—Jim Cornelius, Executive Director