Foodgrains project raises $92,000

About 200 people gathered to help harvest 170 acres that will change thousands of lives.

JASMINE FRANKLIN/Ponoka News Harvest for Foodgrains Bank: Lonnie Hutchison

JASMINE FRANKLIN/Ponoka News Harvest for Foodgrains Bank: Lonnie Hutchison

By Jasmine Franklin

Aside from the cold overcast day, spirits were held high Oct. 3 at this year’s Canadian Foodgrains Bank harvest near Ponoka, raising $92,000 toward ending hunger in the Third World.

About 200 people gathered to help harvest 170 acres that will change thousands of lives.

“This is a really good whole-community effect,” said organizer Larry Henderson. “Everything is donated and it makes such a big difference.”

Last year, the project, which raises money and crops for Third World countries,

raised $73,000. This year, the project brought in $37,000 in crops and $55,000 in cash donations in its 12th year of operation.

The harvest was completed with 15 combines, three swathers, six big trucks and four bailers. It brought in 220 tonnes of barley, 300 bails of straw, and 60 bushels to an acre — a relief after a dry growing season.

Equipment was donated by10 companies along with 40 farmers.

“There’s probably $8 million or $9 million worth of equipment here,” said co-ordinator Peter Doornenbal. “It’s such a little thing to give that makes a huge difference and really brings the whole community together.”

Lonnie Hutchison, with Hi-Line Farm Equipment, helped buckle up his five-year-old daughter, Morgan, into one of the combines the company donated.

“We’re just here to help,” Hutchison said.

Hi-Line donated two combines and 10 people.

Terence Barg, regional co-ordinater for the Canadian Foodgrains Bank, was present at the harvest and said that last year $47.7 million was sent overseas and spent through foodgrains aid and security projects.

“There were just about 2.1 million people who benefited from the foodgrains projects last year,” Barg said.