Thursday, June 17, 2010

Global Food Crisis Fund supports work of Foods Resource Bank.

A member contribution of $22,960 has been given to the Foods Resource Bank from the Church of the Brethren’s Global Food Crisis Fund. The allocation represents a 2010 grant for operational support of the organization, based on the scope of overseas programming for which the denomination is lead sponsor.

Member contributions to the Foods Resource Bank are allocated in the following way: 40 percent administration and resource development; 17 percent overseas programing; 43 percent US growing projects. The organization’s current total assets stand at $3.6 million, of which $3 million is designated for overseas programing and $0.6 million for operations.

The Church of the Brethren is lead sponsor for four of the 62 Foods Resource Bank overseas programs: the Totonicapan program in Guatemala, the Rio Coco program in Nicaragua, and Bateye Food Security in the Dominican Republic (all in partnership with Church World Service); and the Ryongyon program in North Korea in partnership with Agglobe International.

In the United States the Foods Resource Bank is engaged in 200 growing projects. In 2009, 22 of these were Church of the Brethren led. This year, a growing project called "Field of Hope" started by a group of six Church of the Brethren congregations in the area of Grossnickle, Md., will host the Foods Resource Bank Annual Gathering on July 13-15.

"Foods Resource Bank has become an increasingly major partner of the Global Food Crisis Fund," said the grant request from fund manager Howard Royer. "Some 35 of our congregations have participated in FRB growing projects, the majority for three or more years. In 2009 Brethren-led growing projects raised $266,000 for investing in agricultural development with indigenous partners in poor countries abroad."

The Global Food Crisis Fund also has given a grant of $5,000 to Liberia to assist with the distribution of 300,000 vegetable seed packets to subsistence farmers and gardeners and schools, with logistics handled by Church Aid Inc., Liberia. Three previous grants of this amount were allocated to Church Aid Liberia in 2006, 2007, and 2008.

A grant of $3,000 has been given to the ECHO organization in support of a West Africa Networking Forum this fall. The funds will cover the $200 registration fee for five delegates and will provide a $2,000 grant toward the cost of the forum itself. In September ECHO will host its first networking forum bringing together agricultural leaders from Nigeria, Niger, Benin, Togo, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, the Gambia, Senegal, Mauritania, Mali, Algeria, and Libya. The venue is a central location, Ouagadougo in Burkina Faso.

A special effort will be made by the Church of the Brethren’s Global Mission Partnerships to enlist two Nigerian agricultural workers from Ekklesiyar Yan’uwa a Nigeria to attend. In 2008, the fund participated in a similar ECHO-related event in Haiti with a grant of $1,750. Through that experience, Haitian Brethren became connected to a wider group of agricultural specialists in the country. One Haitian Brethren pastor and agriculturalist, Jean Bily Telfort, was invited to address the forum.

In other news, Royer and the Global Food Crisis Fund are congratulating the leaders of Heifer International and Bread for the World as joint recipients of the 2010 World Food Prize. The prize is shared by Jo Luck, president of Heifer International, and David Beckmann, head of Bread for the World. Heifer International was started by the Church of the Brethren and denominational staff member Dan West as Heifer Project, and since going independent has grown into a large international nonprofit that receives wide ecumenical support. The two leaders were honoured for "landmark achievements in building two of the world's foremost grassroots organizations leading the charge to end hunger and poverty for millions of people around the world."

For more about the Global Food Crisis Fund, go to

Source: 6/17/2010 Newsline

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