Foodgrains Bank teams up with Viterra and local farmers to help end hunger

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

The Groeneweg family pose by the land donated by Viterra that they farmed to raise money for ending global hunger.

Producer Franck Groeneweg of Green Atlantic Farms isn’t afraid of big goals.

That’s why he and his wife, Kari, didn’t hesitate when they were asked by Canadian Foodgrains Bank representative Rick Block if they would be willing to donate their time and resources to farm 30 acres of land belonging to Viterra around its terminal in Balgonie, Saskatchewan.

The proceeds from the sale of the crop would be donated to the Foodgrains Bank and used in the work of responding to hunger around the world. A similar project, also on land donated by Viterra, took place in Stettler, Alberta.

“Ending global hunger can feel like an impossible task,” says Franck. “But it’s important to do what we can, even for one person.”

“We’re incredibly blessed,” he adds. “God gives us everything. Being involved in this project is a way for us to give back.”

The funds will be used by the Foodgrains Bank to help people in places like Kapoeta, South Sudan, where severe drought, aggravated by ongoing conflict, means many people are struggling to survive.

One of those people is Nakuru Lopeeto Lowi, a young woman in her mid-teens whose parents have both died. Nakuru is now in charge of her four younger siblings. She spends her time cooking food and fetching water, unable to attend school. She wants to be able to plant things like okra and sorghum, but the drought means anything she tries to plant will not grow.

The emergency rations of sorghum, beans, oil and salt Nakuru and her siblings are receiving through a project of the Foodgrains Bank makes their life a little easier, and lets them know there are people who care about their wellbeing.

It’s such stories of ending hunger that encourage the Groeneweg family.

“We have so much food here in Canada—too much food,” says Franck. “There’s lots of places where that’s not the case.”

“Farmers are known for being resourceful, and working with what they have,” says Foodgrains Bank executive director Jim Cornelius. “This new partnership represents a creative way of using the resources available to us for an important cause—helping to feed hungry people.”

In addition to providing the land, Viterra will also provide the Foodgrains Bank with a donation of $5 for each tonne of crops donated to the organization through one of its 68 grain elevators in Western Canada.

“Viterra has proudly partnered with the Foodgrains Bank for the last several years, supporting the important work they do around the world,” says Kyle Jeworski, Viterra’s President and CEO for North America.

“Through our extensive asset network, we’ve been able to raise additional awareness about this great cause and provide our farm customers with an opportunity to provide their support.”

Given the success of this year’s program, Viterra plans to provide additional acres to the Foodgrains Bank at four more locations in 2018. The amount of acres to be farmed will increase from 42 to nearly 400, which will go a long way to assist the Foodgrains Bank in its ongoing mission to fight world hunger.

–Amanda Thorsteinsson, Communications Coordinator