Click Here to Visit the Canadian Foodgrains Bank Website      
The CFGB and its relationship through the years with the PCC and St. Paul’s
(The following excerpt is from the Canadian Foodgrains Bank website)  
What is the Canadian Foodgrains Bank? Founded in 1983, Canadian Foodgrains Bank or CFGB for short is a partnership of 15 church and church-based agencies working together to end global hunger. In 2014-15, we helped 1.1 million people in 39 countries have enough to eat. Each year, the Canadian government provides us with $25 million in matching financial support. 

What does the Canadian Foodgrains Bank do? The goal of the Foodgrains Bank is to end global hunger. We do this in the following ways:

  • We provide emergency food for people who are hungry because of things like war, drought, and unfair international trade policies.
  • We provide tools and training so that hungry people, many of whom are small-scale farmers, can feed themselves.
  • We support programs that improve nutrition, especially for children and nursing mothers, and that provide nutrition education and training for families. We also work to end global hunger through education and advocacy.
  • We work to influence national and international policies that contribute to ending global hunger.
  • We engage and educate Canadians in efforts to end global hunger.
How do you know the food actually gets to the people who need it? The Canadian Foodgrains Bank members work with trusted partners overseas to make sure food goes where it is intended. Our assistance is carefully and closely monitored, and Foodgrains Bank staff and volunteers regularly visit project sites to conduct audits and do other monitoring. In spite of some very challenging logistics in foreign ground transportation and distribution, together with civil unrest or war, we know that more than 95% of food gets to where it is needed.
What are community growing projects? A community growing project usually involves a group of people (farmers, fuel dealers, equipment dealers, local small businesses, grain elevator staff, church congregations) gathering together to farm a plot of land. When they harvest their crop, they sell it on the Canadian market, and donate the proceeds to the Foodgrains Bank. There are over 200 projects across Canada. These projects contribute approximately half of the donations received by the Foodgrains Bank.

Canadian Foodgrains Bank and the Government of Canada: Canadian Foodgrains Bank is grateful to partner with the Canadian Government to provide food assistance to people in the developing world. The Government of Canada has supported the Foodgrains Bank since it began in 1983. Today, the Canadian Foodgrains Bank is one of two primary channels for the Government of Canada’s funding for food assistance. Through the Government of Canada’s support, the Foodgrains Bank’s 15 members are able to leverage donations on a four-to-one basis for food assistance in the developing world up to $25 million.                          “We are very grateful to the Government of Canada for its generous support through Global Affairs Canada,” says Foodgrains Bank Executive Director Jim Cornelius.

“Our partnership with the Canadian government allows us to multiply donations generously given by Canadians, enabling us to assist many more people and communities.”
Partners include:                                                                                                                                                         {Click the names of the partners to learn more about them}

By Shaylyn McMahon, Communications Assistant, Canadian Foodgrains Bank
In 1992, when Rick Fee returned to Canada after living in Nigeria for 17 years, he was given an important task.
“I was told, ‘You’re now the director of Presbyterian World Service & Development… And oh, by the way, we’re members of the Canadian Foodgrains Bank now,’” he remembers.
In Nigeria, Fee worked as minister for a rural parish and was the Africa liaison for The Presbyterian Church in Canada. A few months before he returned home, PWS&D partnered with the Foodgrains Bank.
“I said, ‘Oh, that’s lovely. Whatever that is,’” says Fee, who wasn’t familiar with the organization at the time.
A few months after he returned to Canada, in early 1993, Fee was not only on his way to Somalia to learn more about the Foodgrains Bank—he was a member of its board.  At the time, an intense civil war threatened the lives of tens of thousands of Somalis; the visit was a way to learn more about Somalia’s food security situation. After witnessing the food needs in that country, Fee saw the importance of the Foodgrains Bank’s work.
His next task was to educate members of the Presbyterian Church in Canada about the Foodgrains Bank and encourage them to support PWS&D’s efforts to end global hunger.
“I made Canadian Foodgrains Bank one of my major foci,” he says, referring to how the trip impacted his thinking. “Every chance I got, I spoke [about] and highlighted the Foodgrains Bank.”  For Fee, the partnership with the Foodgrains Bank was a godsend for Canadian Presbyterians.
“In the news were all these major famines and major wars,” says Fee. “And it was constantly, ‘What can we do? What can we do?’”
“This was finally an answer,” he continues. “This is what we can do, and this is where we can contribute.”
In 1993, a year after joining the Foodgrains Bank, Presbyterians raised $40,000 for PWS&D’s account with the Foodgrains Bank. The next year, it more than tripled that amount to $148,000.
Fee says he wasn’t surprised at how Canadian Presbyterians took to supporting the Foodgrains Bank through PWS&D. “People wanted to do something, and this was a practical way to do that,” he says.
Corn Share — bringing urban and rural Presbyterians together
In the beginning, the most common way Presbyterians supported PWS&D through CFGB was through growing projects, where farmers come together to grow a crop, sell it and donate the proceeds.
“People kept saying, ‘How can we help?’ and I kept saying, ‘A growing project,’” says Fee. “But many of these people weren’t on farms. They were in the cities.”
As a result, the Corn Share model was born. Urban Presbyterian churches were paired with rural congregations that had access to land and were able to organize a growing project. The urban congregations would help cover the cost of inputs like insurance, seeds, fertilizer and fuel.
At harvest time, members of the urban congregations would often travel to meet their rural partners. Together, they would celebrate the
harvest before selling the crop and donating the proceeds.
“Even here in Toronto we would get a bus and drive two or three hours west of here and visit the farmers,” says Fee. “It was a great twinning back and forth.”
The name Corn Share originated because corn was the most common crop harvested by the early supporters. Although the projects started with corn, Fee says each project eventually began planting whatever made sense for them, including soybeans and barley.
St. Paul’s Presbyterian Church in Eckville, Alberta, started one of these projects.
“We’ve been supporting Canadian Foodgrains Bank for 25 years,” says Sandra Franklin- Law, the minister of St. Paul’s Presbyterian. “Ever since it partnered with PWS&D.”
In 1997, Franklin-Law went on a study tour with the Foodgrains Bank to Ethiopia, Tanzania and Kenya. She says that trip was a life changing experience, and for that reason, she’s made sure that St. Paul’s Presbyterian continues to support PWS&D and CFGB.
For the congregation of fewer than 100 people, that support initially took the form of a grain drive.
Each year, members of the church would bring coffee and doughnuts to the local grain elevator during harvest and collect donations from farmers who shared part of their proceeds of that year’s harvest.
After 12 years of the grain drive, a local couple in Eckville donated 30 acres of land for the church to start a growing project. Thanks to donations by more local landowners and support from the Town of Eckville, the growing project has now expanded to 130 acres.
Staying true to Franklin-Law’s vow of continued support, St. Paul’s covers the cost of seeds for the growing project each year.
For Franklin-Law, having a church and community that’s so committed to helping hungry people overseas is a way to see God’s commandment of loving one’s neighbour in action.
“When you’re out in the field working with the farmers, and you hear them talking about how important it is to have a good crop so that the Foodgrains Bank can get money, you can see that that’s when faith is alive,” she says.
Today, around 10 families continue to support the growing project in Eckville. For Ron Hopper, the growing project leader, being able to support the effor t to end global hunger is encouraging.
“It gives the community a real sense of inspiration,” says Hopper. “And pride that we can do it year after year.”
In 2006, Hopper went to Ethiopia and Kenya on a food study tour to see first hand how Foodgrains Bank supported projects are making a difference for those who are hungry overseas.  “Once you actually walk in the villages and you break bread with them and go to church services with some of the recipients, you see first hand the impact it has on their lives,” says Hopper.
Hopper also remembers meeting officials who worked for the United Nation’s Food and Agriculture Organization on the tour.
“They were just amazed that farmers in little prairie towns in Canada would band together to support the Foodgrains Bank like they did,” says Hopper.
“I think they wondered, ‘Okay, so why would a farmer from Eckville, Alberta, care about what happens in Ethiopia?’” he adds. “It was a real eye opener for them that a lot of farmers from across the entire country supported
these projects so much.”
Since its inception, the St. Paul’s Presbyterian Church Growing Project has raised nearly $240,000 for PWS&D’s work through CFGB. When matched by Global Affairs Canada, that would be over a million dollars worth of aid for hungry people.
“Our community just really sees the value of the mission work and the food going to help people out in countries where they need it,” says Hopper. “They’re just really invested in helping somebody else out.”
The commitment St. Paul’s shows for ending hunger is mirrored in Presbyterian congregations across Canada. Over the
past 25 years, Canadian Presbyterians have donated over $4 million to help alleviate suffering overseas through PWS&D, allocating over $270,000 in 2016–17 alone.
For Guy Smagghe, director of PWS&D, the generosity of Presbyterians across Canada, coupled with the hunger focused nature of the Foodgrains Bank, allows for a more just world.
“Witnessing the passionate support PWS&D supporters have for ending global hunger is inspiring,” says Smagghe. “Together, PWS&D, Canadian Presbyterians and the Foodgrains Bank are helping alleviate suffering for millions of people.”
                                                                                 Photos From Our Harvest and from Mission Trips.