For over 20 years, Presbyterian World Service & Development and Canadian Foodgrains Bank (CFGB) have responded together to the immediate and long-term food needs of people in developing countries affected by natural disasters, conflict and changing weather patterns.
Founded in 1983, CFGB has grown from five founding agencies to comprise 15 church-based agencies, representing 32 different denominations, all working together with the common goal of ending global hunger.
In Partnership to End Hunger
Today, CFGB is one of Canada’s leading food assistance organizations and predominant Christian responses to global hunger. With support from Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada (DFATD) and the combined efforts of member agencies, over the past 30 years CFGB has provided over 1.1 million tonnes of food and seeds, worth over $682 million, to millions of people in 78 countries around the world.
Presbyterians in Canada are dynamic partners in this effort to help those who do not have enough to eat. In the past year this support has enabled PWS&D to work with CFGB on food aid and food security projects in 16 countries, worth nearly $2 million.
Click here to see where PWS&D and CFGB are currently responding together.
Frequently Asked Questions
When a new food assistance project is approved by CFGB, PWS&D withdraws the needed funds from our account. These funds are then eligible to be matched up to 4:1 by the government. CFGB members also support each other with the equity from their own CFGB accounts. PWS&D may seek support from other members, or alternatively, may contribute funds to other members – allowing us to respond in an area where we don’t have direct partnerships.
Community growing projects are a great way to get involved. Volunteers come together to farm a common plot of land, with the proceeds from the harvest sale donated for overseas food aid and agricultural development. There are over 250 of these projects across Canada.
CFGB also relies on large groups of volunteers to gather grain and donations across the country. Community members may work with farmers, growing projects or other local fundraisers. Contact the CFGB regional coordinator in your area.
Presbyterians can also participate in advocacy initiatives through CFGB.
Millions of people around the world today only eat the bare minimum of food necessary to keep them alive. They are “food insecure”—a situation when people lack secure access to sufficient amounts of nutritious food.
The causes of hunger are complex. Although most of the world’s media attention on hunger is given to natural disasters, they are not the major causes of hunger. The more common causes are less dramatic, but no less severe.
- Poverty. Hunger and poverty go hand-in-hand.
- The rising cost of food. Food prices today, relative to income, are the highest in 30 years. The world’s poorest people are hit hardest since they can spend up to 75% of their income on food. To cope, many people reduce their portion size or cut back on the number of meals they eat each day.
- Conflict. Conflicts cause displacement, health problems and prevent people from growing food.
- Changing weather patterns. Changing weather patterns and extreme weather events, attributed to climate change, are disrupting the global production of food.
- Lack of investment in agriculture. The majority of people in the developing world live in rural areas as small-scale farmers, unable to access enough resources to help them grow food more efficiently. Poor soil fertility and lack of access to high quality seeds and fertilizers also contribute to hunger.
* Adapted from Canadian Foodgrains Bank