Volunteers reap harvest to end hunger

.

Checking settings for high-tech machinery

By Jeffrey Heyden-Kaye

Many people are wary of donating their hard-earned dollars without knowing its destination, especially considering high administration costs for some organizations. The Canadian Food Grains Bank (CFGB) might just be the solution for those philanthropists.

On Oct. 14 farmers and volunteers harvested this year’s wheat crop for the CFGB, a Christian-based organization with 15 members whose goal is to end world hunger through Canadian involvement.

Ponoka has taken part for 14 years and volunteers grow and sell wheat from land just south of town.

Ponoka co-ordinator Peter Doornenbal said most of their seed and fertilizer is donated from businesses throughout the community.

“All of our costs are covered by donations including money and product.”

It was a warm sunny day and farmers from around the area were there for support and to work machinery. Seven combines, a swather and two grain trucks including equipment donated from Agro Ponoka were at the 170-acre parcel of land to harvest wheat.

Store manager Rick Cline said they have been there for the whole process, from seeding and fertilizing to combining.

“We do it for the spirit of the project and because it’s a really good cause,” explained Cline.

Ponoka co-ordinator Larry Henderson said they hoped to harvest 50 to 60 bushels per acre but there was low yield due to a wet spring season, which gave them a little less than 40 bushels per acre.

Henderson said they received $2,000 in cash donations and will be able to sell the straw bales for approximately $3,000.

In the time they have been farming the land, the Ponoka Foodgrains Project has raised $641,500 and because the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) matches the amount 4:1, the number is $3,207,000. Their goal is to provide sustainable solutions to countries in need of aid.

“We will probably make around $38,000 this year and when you add the CIDA amount it will be approximately $190,000,” said Henderson.

Regional co-ordinator Terence Barg said 95 per cent of the food goes to the intended target. CFGB manages the money for its members and allocates funds to programs they need. Barg gave the example of the recent famine in East Africa and said they programmed $8.8 million to Somalia, Kenya and Ethiopia.

CFGB created food sustainable programs in countries affected by drought or famine to give farmers an opportunity to be self-reliant and to build on already existing programs.

“We do food aid, food security projects to help people grow their own food, and we do a nutrition program so it’s not just food aid,” Barg explained.

Just Posted

Ponoka Victim Services brings support dog to court hearing

One support dog was in Ponoka to provide support for a young victim attending court

Life of Darrell Paulovich honoured at Ponoka memorial

One of rodeo’s biggest fans was remembered during a memorial celebrating his life

PHOTOS: Volunteers add lights to Ponoka’s Centennial Park

Centennial Park in Ponoka will have a festive appearance once again thanks to volunteer supports

PHOTO: St. Augustine teams will head to volleyball provincials

Both Ponoka’s girls and boys teams from St. Augustine School are heading to provincials

Rollovers near Ponoka keep crews busy

Wintry road conditions proved a struggle for motorists on the QE2 highway with several incidents

Six students arrested, charged in sex assault probe at Toronto all-boys school

The school’s principal, Greg Reeves, described the video of the alleged sexual assault as ‘horrific’

Deportation averted for Putin critic who feared return to Russia

Elena Musikhina, a vocal critic of the Kremlin, has been granted a two-year visitor’s permit in Canada

Auditor general takes aim at Liberals’ fighter-jet plan

Suditor general Michael Ferguson is about to release a new report on Canada’s attempts to buy new fighter jets

B.C. couple converts ambulance into a traveling home

The Revelstoke couple plan on touring B.C. ski hills then driving to Mexico

Shots fired near Chicago hospital, multiple victims: police

Police say at least one possible offender has been shot

Calgary bobsled death inquiry recommends infrared technology, safety audits

A judge found the deaths of 17-year-old twins Evan and Jordan Caldwell were accidental and caused by blunt-force head and neck trauma

Wetaskiwin RCMP searching for owner of missing urn

Police say the small blue urn, with label ‘BAIER’ at the bottom, was handed in recently

Examine ‘monstrous’ allegations of forced sterilization of Indigenous women: NDP

The issue of forced sterilizations will also be raised at the UN Committee Against Torture

Canada Post ‘cooling off’ period won’t resolve postal dispute, says CUPW

CUPW national president Mike Palecek says the union isn’t holding rotating strikes to harm the public

Most Read