Mr Nelson Weippert gave a great explanation of the workings and history of the Canadian Foodgrains Bank... quite enlightening!
UNTYING CANADA’S FOOD AID Nov. 2-14
LUKE 12: 13-21
Deut. 8: 7-10
In our SCRIPTURE THIS MORNING, the man was greedy built bigger barns rather than share his abundant wealth, he represents our society with such abundance we to have the choice to-- store it in the bank – build bigger bank accounts or share it with our neighbours .
Hopefully, we don’t want to end life like him –so I think a good place to store some of our wealth is with CFGB. Not much interest- but the rewards are great. —content knowing you are sharing in God’s work
I’d say, if we are going to donate to CFGB it might be a good idea to know a little history of how they operate.
So this morning I thought I’d run through some of the milestones(challenges) CFGB faced in fulfilling their mission to END HUNGER.
From the very start CFGB’s hands had been tied by Gov’t. restrictions as to what food can be provided and which countries were entitled to receive aid from Canada.
We need to go all the way back to the start of Canada’s food aid program. It began in the 50’s -- a way to help Canadian farmers sell surplus crops and -- a way the help the hungry.
When CFGB started In 1983 to receive matching funds from CIDA, CFGB had to follow certain government rules
1- grain must be grown in Canada
2- only give aid to non-communist countries.
( a list of eligible countries was provided)
GRAIN GROWN IN CANADA had two problems:
-1st.-- you had to find a ship that had space— to a big city port—unload grain on the dock,-- pilfering— smaller boat or trucks village
2nd.- wheat not the grain the people ate.
A way of obtaining the grains they ate was to SWAP GRAINS with various countries.
One example: emergency in Zimbawe--Canadian wheat traded to South Africa for the maize-- maize distributed to families in Zimbawe.
It seems the early days of CFGB was mainly arranging to ship boat loads of wheat—arranging swaps and distributing food.
IN 1994, CFGB INTRO A DISASTER RELIEF PROGRAM.
for the first 11 years CFGB main priority was providing food to END HUNGER. But due to drought and flooding the local farmers had depleted their savings,- ate their seed for next planting season. Then A DISASTER RELIEF PROGRAM established.
Now CFGB is providing families with food, tools and seed and in some cases livestock, to help them re-establish their farm plots.
Many will remember, IN 1996,-- FAMINE STRUCK NORTH KOREA – once again another Gov’t. restriction tied their hands--communist countries get no food aid.-- no choice—to be faithful to God and their mission or commit CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE. CFGB shipped 81,000 tons of food and other assistance to North Korea. The Canadian Gov’t. provided no funding for the shipments.
This attitude got the Church congregations how shall I say it—got their shorts in a knot-- they spearheaded a lobby against this restriction and now all countries can receive assistance but still only grains grown in Canada.
INTRODUCED MALNUTRITION FEEDING PROGRAM
In 2001--CFGB developed special therapeutic feeding programs for thousands of malnourished children. Hard to image 1 in 4 children are malnourished. Canadian wheat shipped to South Africa milled into fortified porridge mix distributed to children. I’m sure it saved many lives.
Canadian government changed its food- aid policy in 2004-- allowed 50% of food to be purchased in the developing world. 50% still Canada grown.
I figure it must have been an embarrassment AFTER TSUNAMI SOUTHEAST ASIAN coast—CFGB sent food to the coastal people who had lost everything, while inland only a few kilometers-- crops were available sending food from Canada made little sense.
Finally after 25 years IN 2008, Canadian Government untied all the restrictions on food aid—-- CFGB to use all the funds provided by CIDA to buy food in the developing world.
Untying the restrictions had a TREMENDOUS AFFECT ON CFGB FOOD-AID: more appropriate food--- eliminates 2-3 month delay and shipping costs -- more money for food.—nearby farmers benefit-- purchase from them.
TRAINING OF CONSERVATION FARMING
Drought—flooding—hybrid seeds-row cropping-not working. Land was producing food 4-6 months of food-then families needed food aid 8-12 months
During recent years, CFGB with its partners have opened up Agricultural Training Centers where conservation farming is taught-- called “FARMING GOD’S WAY.”
—open pollinated seed
—hill planting —animal waste fertilizer
Across sub-Saharan Africa small holder farmers, many are women, are seeing their crop production increase by 20-200 %.
GLOBAL WARMING-NEW CHALLENGE
Now CLIMATE CHANGE has become a serious problem, it has been predicted we will experience a loss of 35-50 % food production if action isn’t taken to curve the rise in CO2.
The problem will be--not only to feed the poor but the entire world population- which will grow by additional 2 billion by 2050-- All the more reason:
We say “yes” to God because Jesus tells us, “to those who have been given much, much more will be expected.”
And it reflects in our local CFGB PROJECTS doing.
Started in 1998, 1 church raised $ 300.00-- grown to 13 churches past 14 years—we raised $ 115,000. CIDA (Canadian International Development Agency)
provide $ 4.00 for every dollar we donate--total contribution $ 572, 220. —let’s keep up the good work!
The world has changed in the past 30 years, the cause of hunger is also changing -- CFGB’s response to hunger has changed and diversified over time, but one thing remains the same, however--CFGB COMMITMENT TO END HUNGER.
We say Yes to God because our lives can make a difference!
Let us bow in prayer.
Send me out into this world with the power and courage to share your love with my neighbour, to fight injustice, to feed the hungry, make me dissatisfied with the way things are and help me to work for the way things ought to be. In Jesus name we pray. AMEN.