Foodgrains Bank beats annual donation record

Thanks in part to higher grain prices and yields, donations to the Canadian Foodgrains Bank in 2008-09 beat the charitable organization’s previous annual record by $4 million.

The Winnipeg-based CFGB said this week that cash donations were up by abou 15 per cent over the previous year, and the increase in grain’s value and in Prairie yields has also boosted donations “even more significantly.”

Donations for the charity’s 2008-09 fiscal year totalled $12.4 million, the CFGB said.

“We’ve seen increases in all of our funding sources this year,” executive director Jim Cornelius said in a release Thursday. “In addition to increases in cash and grain donations, we’ve received more in transfer funds from our 15 member agencies, and we’ve also seen our annual contribution from (the Canadian International Development Agency) increase from $20 million to $25 million.”

The CFGB has been in growth mode in many respects in recent years, board chairman Don Peters said.

“We were happy to welcome the Catholic and Anglican relief and development agencies into our membership in 2007,” said Peters, who’s also the executive director of Mennonite Central Committee Canada. “We’ve also seen an increased interest in hunger issues and the work of the Foodgrains Bank as a response to the global food crisis that’s been in the media this past year.”

CIDA also recently approved another $9 million for the Foodgrains Bank’s programs in Zimbabwe and the Democratic Republic of Congo, on top of its $25 million contribution to the CFGB’s general funding.

The Canadian Foodgrains Bank is a partnership of 15 Canadian church agencies, working with food-insecure populations outside Canada to deliver immediate food aid and sustainable community development projects.

Direct grain donations, made by farmers through agencies such as the Canadian Wheat Board and mainline grain companies, range from 15,000 to 20,000 tonnes per year. The charity’s total annual food outlay in developing countries ranges from 40,000 to 60,000 tonnes per year.

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