The team at the Canadian Foodgrains Bank saw a great response from the crowds who attended their booth at last week's Ag Days in the Keystone Centre in Brandon.
"There are more people here than I expected, including supporters and community project organizers. So that's been very good," shares Gordon Janzen, Regional Representative for the Foodgrain Grow Projects in Manitoba and NW Ontario.
Janzen says one of the highlights during Ag Days was sharing the mission of the Foodgrains Bank with junior high students through the 'Ag in the Classroom' initiative.
Throughout the 3-day trade show teams of grades 7/8 students from across Westman went on a hunt for information throughout the Keystone. Participating booths had a quick Q&A with the students sharing pertinent facts about their organization. After the tutorial, students receive a sticker with a letter on it to help them solve a phrase. The incentive is to engage students in learning more about Canadian agriculture using a scavenger-hunt-like format.
When these groups of students visited their booth, the Canadian Foodbank team was able to share more about world hunger, and how their agency is helping people all around the world living in dire conditions.
"Ag in the Classroom helps students learn about agriculture on the Prairies, and we also have the opportunity to engage them in learning about the global scene of hunger, and how we can respond," explains Janzen.
Students needed to answer the question, 'How many people are acutely hungry in the world? Has that stayed the same, increased or decreased?'
"It has increased to 193 million people who are acutely hungry," he notes, "and then we talk about that, and how, with the number of agencies with the Foodgrains Bank, we respond to acutely hungry people in the world."
In 2022 there were 35 growing projects across the province with committees being led and supported by established farmers. However, Janzen says the younger generation is getting involved which is a positive thing to see. "In several of our community groups they have younger people involved. So, it's not only the older generation. There are also younger supporters and that's encouraging."
With numbers increasing of people experiencing acute hunger, Janzen says the Canadian Foodgrains Bank will be working hard to help meet those needs in this next growing season.
"We've had very good support in Manitoba, and nationally, and we're really thankful for that," he adds. "The other part of that is that the need is great, and it's very apparent that we have increased numbers of crisis and the number of hungry people is really increasing. So, our member agencies are very busy responding to this with the resources we are getting."
"So, it will be a very full year for everyone at the Canadian Foodgrains Bank!"