BAINSVILLE, Ontario – The Honourable Marie-Claude Bibeau, federal Minister of International Development and La Francophonie was in Bainsville on Monday, Oct. 16 to witness the work of Canadian Foodgrains Bank.
The Canadian Foodgrains Bank is a Christian organization dedicated to fighting world hunger.
Minister Bibeau met with members of the group over lunch in a barn at Glenn Laird Farms owned by Malcom “Mac” Robertson and his wife Susan.
“For 23 years, we as a church community have grown food in rented land with volunteer help and donated input,” said Mac Robertson. “We are blessed beyond imagination in this country so there is no reason why we can’t take some of our wealth and pass it along to someone else.”
What originally began as an operation that grew food and then donated it to people in need, now grows grain and sells it and uses those profits to purchase food appropriate to a given region. Robertson gave the example of Syria, explaining how Canadian Foodgrains might use the money it makes from selling a harvest of grain, to buy rice in Turkey to ship to Syria. Robertson said this way, the organization can cut down on transportation costs and send the kind of food that is really needed.
Canadian Foodgrains is divided into local chapters that are made up of members from different local churches. The South Glengarry chapter of Canadian Foodgrains is called the CharLan Foodgrains Bank and is made up of members from 13 churches and four Christian denominations from across South Glengarry. The CharLan Foodgrains Bank has donated more than $3.5 million over the past 23 years.
Minister Bibeau applauded the CharLan Foodgrains Bank and other Foodgrain banks from around SD&G for their work and stated that their mission fit with the governments new vision for international development.
“Poverty development goes hand-in-hand with inequality,” said Bibeau. “This is why we put women and girls at the heart of our new policy. We have to empower women if we want poverty to end.”