Fight against hunger drives ag auction

The fight against world hunger is once again taking root in the minds and pockets of Ponoka and area residents.

The fight against world hunger is once again taking root in the minds and pockets of Ponoka and area residents.

On April 17 the Canadian Foodgrains Bank held its 12th annual auction with all the proceeds going to the hunger relief organization.

Last year the auction raised $63,500 and in its 11 years of existence the auction has procured $770,000 for the organization. The Canadian Foodgrains Bank also receives matching funds from the Canadian Government up to $25 million per year.

As of the morning of April 18 the auction had brought in a total of $55,750. There was $1,083 in cash donations and the donated barley sold for $14,750. There were more than 40 animals up for auction.

However, committee member Larry Henderson doesn’t feel the total has stopped growing. He says sometimes cash donations continue to come in after the auction date.

Up for auction were dairy cows, calves, two kids, hay and approximately 45 tonnes of barley, which was donated by Eisses Grain Marketing. Cash donations were also accepted. Henderson said premiums are sometimes paid on the cattle going through the ring.

“What we’re trying to do is raise money for world hunger here,” said Henderson. The Canadian Foodgrains Bank is an efficient organization mostly consisting of volunteers and therefore the donated money goes to those it’s intended to help.

“Our sale is important in that we have quite a few grain projects, this is an opportunity for the livestock people to participate,” said Henderson. “It’s a lot of local effort, for the sale.”

“We’re just here to reap the rewards, it’s the local people that make it happen,” added regional co-ordinator Terence Barg.

This year the Canadian Foodgrains Bank also celebrates its 30th anniversary. “Thirty years of working to eliminate hunger in our world,” said Barg.

Although it may seem like they’re fighting a never-ending battle, Barg knows the cause isn’t hopeless. In the last 20 years, according to the United Nations, the prevalence of world hunger has dropped from 23 per cent to 15 per cent.

However, 870 million people worldwide are still tormented by hunger. “We’re celebrating 30 years of work but we know there’s more to be done and we want to continue partnering with Canadians,” said Barg.

And it isn’t just those Canadians working hard to fight hunger, Canadian Foodgrains operations are prevalent in 34 counties, says Henderson.