Alpacas stand at the ready during a Canadian Foodgrains Bank auction last week at the VJV Auction Mart. The fundraiser brought in $51

Alpacas stand at the ready during a Canadian Foodgrains Bank auction last week at the VJV Auction Mart. The fundraiser brought in $51

Foodgrains Bank raises thousands at annual auction

“What I like about it is 97 per cent of the money earned goes where it’s supposed to go.” Arnie Tenbrinke, volunteer with CFB

Cows sold for top dollar last week at the VJV Auction mart during a Foodgrains Bank auction intended to bring food to people in developing nations.

The auction is an exciting time for organizers as the group has raised over $585,000, excluding matching grants, since its inception. Ponoka chapter volunteer Peter Doornenbal was pleased with the sale prices during the auction as the first heifer sold for $4,000. Other heifers were sold by weight, and one 1,730-pound cow sold for 92 cents per pound.

“The cow prices are really high,” said Doornenbal.

But the real excitement of the day came over a pair of young alpacas that had buyers chomping at the bit to buy. Traditionally these alpacas are donated back to the Foodgrains Bank to give buyers another chance to bid.

They were sold three times before the winning bidder decided they wanted to keep them. Bidders appeared to revel in waiting at the last minute before throwing a yell of “Yes” to keep bids going up.

Arnie Tenbrinke is a volunteer with the Foodgrains Bank who enjoyed the fun of the auction; he even bid against his wife on a wheel of Dutch cheese. One of the reasons Tenbrinke has put in hours with the agency is because of the recipients.

“What I like about it is 97 per cent of the money earned goes where it’s supposed to go,” said Tenbrinke.

Money and grains that have been donated are intended to feed people in the developing nations where food is hard to come by, he explained. The non-profit group also takes advantage of a 4-1 matching federal grant under Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada.

For every dollar earned the federal government matches an additional four dollars.

Tenbrinke said one thing about the Foodgrains Bank that inspired him to join 13 years ago is that the organization is strict on where money gets spent. The intent is to ensure little is wasted on administration costs.

“That’s what intrigued me the most about it,” Tenbrinke said.

The auction raised $51,285, the total amount was $250,425 with matching grants.