By Lethbridge Herald on April 30, 2020.
A local community initiative to raise money for the Canadian Foodgrains Bank to be used in global needs is continuing this year as they get ready to lay the seeds for the barley crop.
For the last 13 years, the Coaldale Lethbridge Community Foodgrains Project has worked on growing a section of crop to grow, harvest and sell as a fundraising initiative. In that time, the program has raised over $1.68 million, ballooning to $8.4 million once matched by the federal government.
“Our message is hope, we especially have to continue this year,” says Ed Donkersgoed, on behalf of the organizing committee members. “We gathered April 9 to ponder if, or how we could continue our community fundraising project in light of COVID-19, and its devastating impact. In our 13 years, we’ve had some challenges but nothing like this.”
Although many communities are currently looking out for their best interests, organizers of the Foodgrains Project say that although many of their donors are currently struggling, contributing to a global need is in the nature of givers.
The feed grain is typically auctioned to the area beef industry and while the committee doesn’t expect buyers will be able to pay a premium this year, they are confident they will have a market for the crop in spite of the challenges the industry is facing.
“They’ve been incredible in their support over the years,” says Donkersgoed. “They’ve always stepped forward in the past.
“The diversity of folks who have donated to our cause, from seniors to parents of young families, small businesses, and even school kids all have been negatively impacted. The principle of helping their neighbour here, and abroad, is simply a part of their nature.”
Thursday morning, the 160-acre field southeast of Coaldale was seeded with barley to start the process over for another year to help raise funds to support global need through the Canadian Foodgrains Bank.
“There’s been so much impact to so many of our supporters. And yet we think maybe now is more important than ever to carry on with the project.”
For more information on the local initiative visit foodgrainsbank.ca.
With files from Ian Martens
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