From the desk of the executive director

Friday, May 3, 2019


Canadian Foodgrains Bank executive director Jim Cornelius visiting an irrigated field near Lalibela, Ethiopia. (Photo: Mike Shillinglaw)

One billion dollars. That’s how much Canadian Foodgrains Bank has now provided in assistance to address hunger around the world since being established in 1983.

We reached this milestone early in 2019.

This assistance has helped meet the critical food needs of millions of people whose livelihoods and access to food have been disrupted and destroyed by drought, floods, conflict, economic collapse and other disasters. It has protected and strengthened the nutritional health of babies, young children and their mothers. It has helped communities recover from disasters and strengthened the livelihoods of millions of families.

I’ve had the privilege of visiting with many families that have benefitted from this assistance and been shaped by their stories of courage, resilience and hope. For me, the billion dollars represents much more than a budget number. It represents an act of love and solidarity between Canadians and their neighbours struggling with hunger around the world.

I have also spoken with people who were involved in imagining and creating what became Canadian Foodgrains Bank, as well as with farmers who were among the first to donate crops from their harvests. They dreamed during those early days that this different type of bank would become an important vehicle for the Canadian farming community and churches to make a difference. That dream has been realized.

Over 35 years later, Canadian Foodgrains Bank, with the support of thousands of Canadians and the Government of Canada, has played its part in one of the good news stories of the last 50 years. The prevalence of extreme hunger in the world has fallen dramatically and incidences of famine are now rare. Progress is being made in our mission of ending hunger.

Membership in the Humanitarian Coalition

As many of you will have noticed, the Foodgrains Bank is now a member of the Humanitarian Coalition. During times of emergency, the Humanitarian Coalition brings leading Canadian aid organizations together in a united effort to raise funds, partner with the government, and engage the participation of media, businesses and individual Canadians.

The participation of the Foodgrains Bank means that we can be part of a coordinated effort to mobilize Canadians to respond to this disaster in a way that will have a greater impact than any one of us might have alone, and we are glad to be a part of it.

Thank you to all who continue to faithfully support the work of ending hunger around the world.

— Jim Cornelius, Executive Director