Shawville farmers team up to end hunger, invite community participation

Monday, June 18, 2018

A group of Shawville-area farmers are teaming up to grow ten acres of wheat to help end world hunger through Canadian Foodgrains Bank. (Photo: Submitted)

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Farmers growing wheat is nothing special—that’s what they often do. But giving away the profit from the sale of that wheat? That’s different.

That’s what a group of Shawville-area farmers are doing this year, teaming up to grow ten acres of wheat for Canadian Foodgrains Bank, a partnership of Canadian farmers and churches working together to end global hunger.

The project is being coordinated by Ralph Lang, a local grain and cash crop farmer. He decided to donate his land to the Foodgrains Bank after hearing about it through the Quebec Farmer’s Association.

“We wanted to use what we know how to do—farming—to make an impact on people around the world who are suffering from hunger,” says Lang, of why he and other area farmers decided to team up with the Foodgrains Bank.

“We’re lucky to live in a country like Canada,” he adds. “Giving back is a part of who we are—being a part of making the world a better place is important to us.”

For Lang, the project goes beyond just being involved in a good cause, though. He’s also hoping to reach out to individuals and families in the Shawville area who don’t have a farming background, and inviting them to be part of the project.

“Anyone wanting to get involved is welcome to sponsor an acre or part of an acre of wheat,” he says. “Contributions to inputs like seeds, chemicals and the other costs involved with growing a crop are greatly appreciated.”

“A lot of people these days don’t have a farming background, but they’re curious about how food is grown. This a great opportunity for them to drive by the field of wheat, and know they’re making a difference for people around the world.”

Anyone wishing to sponsor all or part of an acre can contact Lang for details. The Union des Producteurs Agricoles (UPA) has already dedicated $500 toward the project. DuPont Pioneer and its dealer rep M & R Feeds has donated the seed.

All donations to the Foodgrains Bank are eligible to be matched by the Canadian government on a 4:1 basis through a special agreement the Foodgrains Bank has with Global Affairs Canada. This means a donation of $100 becomes up to $500.

The Foodgrains Bank uses the donated funds to buy food in the developing world for people facing shortages, or for food-related programming such as helping farmers grow more and better crops.

One example of a current Foodgrains Bank-supported project is in South Sudan, where 3,400 people who have been displaced from their homes by conflict are receiving emergency rations of sorghum, maize flour, lentils and vegetable oil for four months through a project totaling $357,000.

Another project, in Ethiopia, is training 8,500 farming households in improving their agricultural productivity in order to better support themselves and their families.

– Amanda Thorsteinsson, Communications Coordinator