On May 18, the Central Alberta Foodgrains Growing Project seeded 70 acres of CPS Wheat just northwest of Bentley, to help feed the hungry in the world.
The Project, now in its 24th year, is affiliated with the Canadian Foodgrains Bank, a Christian based organization based out of Winnipeg that provides international food assistance.
“It took until May 6 to secure the land,” says Committee member Doug Maas, “but we are so grateful that the landowner made this 70 acres available to us.”
In its 24 years, the Project has been located in different part of Lacombe County. “No matter where we are in the country,” says Maas, “we always get fantastic support from the farmers in that area.”
Farmers donate their time, machinery and fuel to not only get the crop in the ground in the spring, but also harvest in the fall. Urban and other rural people provide cash donations to help with the crop input costs, as not all fertilizer and spray are donated.
When the crop is harvested in the fall, there is a public barbecue to celebrate the harvest. While enjoying a meal, members of the public watch the volunteer farmers combine the crop which is then sold at a local elevator. Crop proceeds and any extra cash donations are then sent to Winnipeg, and the Foodgrains Bank uses the funds wherever the greatest need is in the world.
“This is a great project as it brings urban and rural people together in a common cause. We are not only helping disadvantaged communities throughout the world, but we are strengthening our own community,” says Maas.
Each dollar raised for food assistance by the Canadian Foodgrains Bank is matched at a ration of four to one by the Canadian Government. “As we are mostly volunteers,” says Maas, “our administration costs are very low and we use partners all over the world for food distribution and we are effective in ensuring the food gets to the people that need it.”
Last year, the Canadian Foodgrains Bank helped people in 34 countries. Nine new projects were announced in March in such countries as Nepal, Bangladesh and Haiti.
“As our project had a late start this year, we could use help with some cash donations to cover some input bills,” says Maas. If you wish to assist, pleased call Maas in Lacombe at 403-782-1860.