Canadian Foodgrains Bank (CFGB) is a partnership of Canadian church-based agencies working to end hunger in developing countries by increasing and deepening the involvement of Canadians in efforts to end hunger. On behalf of its fifteen member agencies, the Foodgrains Bank collects grain and cash donations, provides funds and expert advice for projects submitted by member agencies and their partners, manages the procurement and supply of food commodities, and engages in public policy and education activities related to hunger and food security.
Westdale became involved with Foodgrains in 1993, when we partnered with a rural congregation, Letterbreen united, north of Mount Forest ON. We raised money each year, through our Christmas Project, to help our partner with expenses. Letterbreen contributed land, labour, insurance, supplies and donations. Over the years we had Sunday pulpit exchanges, picnics, information sessions, stone-picking days, and enthusiastic contacts. Crops grown each year were sold, and the money sent to CFGB in Winnipeg for United Church projects overseas. One year our crop of oats was milled into large flake oats sold in small and large quantities in our congregations and communities. A booklet of oat recipes was also printed and sold.
In 2002, Westale’s partnership changed and we linked up with Oneida United, near Hagersville ON. We have both large acerage crops, and a smaller mixed garden planted by our Sunday School families, as well as congregants. The produce from the garden, harvested by both congregations, is used to decorate our churches for Thanksgiving, then sold for CFGB. Both planting and harvesting times give us an opportunity for a potluck luncheon and fun activities. Oneida also provides Westdale with a bale of straw, which is used by our Sunday School to build a scarecrow for our organic vegetable garden.
Ryerson United of Ancaster ON has also become a partner with us. Together, the three congregations are able to support a very effective outreach organization, CFGB, and in 2009 we raised $ for overseas projects.
Please see our Gallery of pictures from our Oneida growing project.