Foods Resource Bank coalition to celebrate its support of developing world

People will be able to ride combines during an Oct. 20 Foods Resource Bank harvest celebration in Elvira.

Seeds of Love and Hope, a Foods Resource Bank (FRB) coalition in Clinton County, will celebrate its ninth harvest on Sunday, Oct. 20, at Elvira Zion Lutheran Church in Elvira. All are welcome to this ecumenical gathering to participate in prayer, potluck supper, games, combine rides and to learn more about an organization that seeks to foster self-sufficiency in the developing world.
“The harvest has begun and it looks to be a great one!” says Gabriella Egging, a member of Prince of Peace Parish in Clinton, which participates in the Seeds of Love and Hope FRB. The other coalition members are Elvira Zion Lutheran Church in Elvira and First United Methodist Church in Clinton.
“As a Christian response to hunger, FRB links the grassroots energy and commitment of the United States agricultural community with the capability and desire of small farmers in developing countries to grow lasting solutions to hunger,” FRB’s mission statement reads.
“We link a church or group from the U.S. with a project in another country that has been examined and studied to make certain it can work,” Egging said. She noted that each project must have “food sustainability” in the goal. That includes education, purchase of animals or seed that thrive in a particular country, and water procurement through installation of water catchment basins, reservoirs or wells.
U.S. members of FRB are these church organizations: Adventists, ADRA; Catholic Relief Services, CRS; Christian Church, DOC; Brethren, GFCF; Church World Service, CWS; Evangelical Cov­enant, CWR; Lutheran World Relief, LWR; Mennonite Central, MCC; Nazarene, NCM; Presby­terian, USA; Reformed Church, RCWS; United Church of Christ, OGHS; United Methodist Comm on Relief; World Hope Inter­national, WHI; and World Renew.
“These groups generally already have a team working in each of the areas we support and can go to the people and ask them…. ‘What is it you need to be able to feed your family or village?’ This is a grassroots effort … a hand up, not a handout,” Egging said.
Last year, the Clinton County FRB raised $12,000. Those funds went to a project in the Dominican Republic that is rehabilitating an abandoned coffee plantation for Haitian refugees to be able to grow crops to feed themselves, she continued.
An FRB team is planning to visit this project in early December. Anyone interested in joining the team should attend the Oct. 20 celebration to visit with Marv Baldwin, president and CEO of FRB, and with Steve Witt of Elvira for more information.
The celebration begins at 12:30 p.m. at Elvira Zion Lutheran Church. “We will have a prayer ritual giving thanks for the bounty we are blessed with; then a potluck supper will follow in the basement of the church,” Egging said. The FRB group is roasting a hog for the dinner; drinks will be provided. “After the dinner, we will gather outside around a bonfire to roast s’mores, make some homemade ice cream in an old freezer, shell corn with an old hand sheller and play some games. Everyone will have the opportunity to ride a combine as it combines the corn in the field behind the church.”

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