All across Canada, Foodgrains Bank supporters are working together across the rural and urban divide through innovative projects known as Grow Hope.
We compiled a list of updates from some of our Grow Hope projects across the country to feature some of the great work that is happening locally to help end hunger globally.
Take a look at this chart to better understand how our Grow Hope projects work:
Grow Hope Nova Scotia
Member: Canadian Baptist Ministries
Carol Jones is one of a half dozen volunteers behind Grow Hope Nova Scotia near Truro. Jones says she and her husband Greg got started after they converted the driving range on a small golf course they owned and planted a crop on the land. The couple have a deep desire to help the Foodgrains Bank. Greg is a volunteer overseas auditor for Foodgrains Bank and Carole joined a learning tour to Malawi.
“It’s easy to support the work especially once you’ve seen the results,” she says. “I’m confident Foodgrains Bank makes a difference because I’ve seen it. Most people are interested in helping and they do care but they just don’t know how to make a difference.”
Markdale Grow Hope, Ontario
Member: Nazarene Compassionate Ministries
Elaine Bumstead, who also serves on the board of the Foodgrains Bank, has been involved with Markdale Grow Hope since it transitioned from a growing project five years ago. It involves 50
acres of land and urban church supporters in Scarborough, Markham and Cambridge.
“It’s done amazingly well,” says Bumstead. “We have a solid donor base and plenty of committed churches across Canada.” What really works for urban dwellers is knowing it costs $375-$400 to sponsor an acre, roughly the size of a soccer field. “It gives urban church supporters a better idea of farm life.”
Anglican Grow Hope, Manitoba
Member: Primate’s World Relief and Development Fund (PWRDF)
Colin Dorian took over the leadership of Anglican Grow Hope from its founder Rev. Cathy Campbell a few years ago after he retired from the agricultural sector. “It’s important to me because it’s a great cause,” explains Dorian. He appreciates working with Manitou farmer Chris Lea, who donates 15 acres and farms canola, soybeans or wheat. “Chris is an ordained minister and we have developed a great positive relationship.” Although the pandemic has limited their events and rogation services, their Zoom service in June attracted well over 150 people from across Canada.
Grow Hope Saskatchewan
Members: Mennonite Central Committee and Development and Peace
Myron Rogal is stirred to a mission for food security, which is just one of the reasons he got involved in the unique project with one MCC church as well as two Catholic churches. “We have been intentionally ecumenical right from the start,” explains Rogal. “We’re building solidarity between rural and urban people. They become better citizens by being more aware of food security challenges both locally and internationally.” And 2021 was by far Grow Hope Saskatchewan’s biggest year, helped by local artists. Jill Mitchell donates the profits from sales of prints of her harvest painting, while the Catholic Women’s League of Saskatoon created a quilt showcasing tractors that was auctioned off.
Grow Hope Alberta
Member: Mennonite Central Committee
Retired farmer Shaun Galloway has been part of the Share the Harvest Growing Project for over 20 years. The group wanted to increase donations to Foodgrains Bank and were inspired by a Grow Hope project in Manitoba. “We thought Grow Hope was an excellent way to involve others especially in the urban areas,” explained Galloway. “It gives our urban sponsors a window into farming.”
Grow Hope Alberta consists of one larger field donated by Suncor along with six other farmers who donate between 10 and 40 acres. They draw on relationships within the farming industry and a broad range of people. “It’s so gratifying to work with such a dedicated group of people and see them come together for such a good cause.”
To find out how you can work with one of our members to get a Grow Hope project started, click here.
This article was published in the spring 2022 edition of Breaking Bread.