By Greg Price
Organizers are hoping the community will come together once again in fellowship at the Vauxhall and District Growing Project Barbecue and Pig Roast Fundraiser on Wednesday, July 18.
The event aids the Canadian Foodgrains Bank. Through growing projects, groups of farmers and farm supporters plant, tend and harvest a crop, then sell it on the Canadian market, donating the proceeds to the Foodgrains Bank to be used in the work of responding to world hunger.
“There are two main goals with the Foodgrains project. One of them is obviously to raise money to donate overseas to help those who are hungry,” said Kerby Redekop, committee member for the local Foodgrains project. “But the big-picture goal, which this does a good job of is community involvement and support. This isn’t just something to throw money into a big pot and send it overseas to people we are never going to see, but it’s also something to build the community of Vauxhall and small towns. It gets people involved and proud of where they came from.”
The pig roast is the kick off to the Vauxhall-area growing project as the community comes together for the worthy feast.
“We get a lot of support from farmers and local businesses,” said Redekop, adding the Copperfield Hutterite Colony donated the pig for the roast, along with doing preparation. “I’d say there are 50-plus volunteers who put together the pig roast and do the serving and everything.”
Any donation for the pig roast feast is appreciated, along with the company of the community.
“We want to make it open for everybody. If someone feels like they don’t have any money to donate, or don’t want to support the project, that’s OK too, it’s a community event,” said Redekop. “Otherwise, any donation from the least you can afford to we have people writing multi-thousand dollar cheques. Any bit helps and is appreciated.”
Prairieview Seed Potatoes, south of Vauxhall, donated a quarter-section of land for the local Foodgrains project to plant its barley into. The harvest for the Vauxhall-area Canadian Foodgrains Project is scheduled for the end of August. Local businesses often help by donating inputs such as seed, chemicals and fertilizer, and services such as trucking, insurance or promotion.
“This year, Western Tractor in Taber brought in a brand new tractor and seeder out to the field and seeded it for us. We get donations from other businesses as far as crop inputs go. Things like Vauxhall Co-Op for some of the food at the pig roast,” said Redekop.
As for what you can grow, the answer is anything you want — wheat, canola, corn, barley, soybeans, lentils, flax, forage, silage and pumpkins are some of the crops grown to raise money for the Foodgrains Bank.
“The government matches four to one, up to a national total of $25 million dollars,” said Redekop, adding very little is spent on administration to administer the wide-ranging project. “Very few people in the Foodgrains office pull a salary. The total administrative cost is 2.9 per cent for all the money raised. It’s very good bang for the buck as far as charity dollars go.”
Canadian Foodgrains Bank: A Christian Response to Hunger is a partnership of 15 church and church-based agencies working together to end global hunger. Together, these churches and church-based agencies represent 30 denominations.
In 2016-17, Canadian Foodgrains Bank helped over 900,000 people in 35 countries.
All international projects fall into three categories: Food Assistance – Food assistance projects help people who are hungry because of crisis situations like war, droughts, or floods.
Agriculture and livelihoods – Agriculture and livelihoods programs focus on helping people provide food for themselves and their families in the longer term. It is work with farmers to increase their yields through sustainable agriculture practices, and help people generate more income from what they grow.
Nutrition – Nutrition projects reduce malnutrition in families through nutrition education, provision of clean water, and special feeding programs. Priority is given to pregnant and nursing mothers and children under the age of five.
“It is service to others. That can be done by donating some of our land, some of our time and some of our money as farmers, to support people overseas who are less fortunate than us, and also building local community being part of this project,” said Redekop. “This is a faithful way to work out our beliefs.”
The Vauxhall and District Growing Project Barbecue and Pig Roast Fundraiser goes Wednesday, July 18 at 6 p.m. Admission by donation with tax receipts available.
The fundraiser is located at Bennen’s Potato Storage (Township RD 14-0 and Highway 36. From Vauxhall, it is four miles north on Highway 36 – west side of the road.