Does your desk, like mine, have a stack of year-end charitable requests? 'Tis the season to ponder again what causes best fit our values and which organizations will make best use of the checks we send. With both my time and money I try to balance local and global needs, looking to create opportunity rather than dependency. The surprise is that to the extent I choose and act wisely, I am changed. I get to glimpse the best in humanity, a gift beyond measure in these days when our worst seems always in view.
Perhaps it's part of my Iowa DNA, but much of my personal focus is on raising food, from our backyard garden and chickens to the fields of smallholder farmers around the world. I know how it feels to be in relationship with the soil, the rain, the sun and the seasons. And I've seen the faces and heard the stories of what it means to parents in Zambia and Laos and Guatamala to be able to feed their families. Dignity, hope and creativity are part of the harvest and provide good seed for the future.
The year in the humanitarian world? It ends with agencies scrambling to respond to another typhoon in the Philippines (luckily not as severe as last year's but still plenty worrisome), as well as bravely continuing work in the ongoing Syrian refugee crisis.
What 2014 has principally been, though, is a year of constant and churning problems, in which the challenges of climate change and food security (the availability and access to food) became more acute and ever-more clear.
After Black Friday, Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday... we finally come to Giving Tuesday. It's simple and easy to get your credit card or check book out and make a donation. Lots of good work gets done with the strength of many small donations.
At FRB, our success is built on relationships. On long term commitments. On passion. On this Giving Tuesday I challenge you
DES MOINES — Conrad farmer Arlyn Schipper said participating in the Foods Resource Bank has given him peace in his soul.
Schipper, who is FRB executive committee vice chairman, shared what his organization is doing on a local and international level at last month's Iowa Hunger Summit in Des Moines.
"I'm here to talk about a organization I'm so proud of,
What is conservation agriculture (CA)? How does it work?
The UN's Food and Agricultural Organization describes conversation agriculture as: a concept for resource-saving agricultural crop production that strives to achieve acceptable profits together with high and sustained production levels while concurrently conserving the environment.
In the recorded webinar, MCC staff based in Southern and Eastern Africa share
The Fremont area Foods Resource Bank (FRB) Growing Project, in partnership with the John Deere Foundation (JDF) and local 4-H clubs, has been honored to have Lydia Breen (Ensley/Newaygo Co. 4-H) and Brendan Carroll (Grant Livestock 4-H) join them in “growing lasting solutions to world hunger.”
The purpose of this collaboration, new in 2014,is to encourage agricultural learning among 4-H youth and to teach them about the development work FRB carries out overseas to help reduce world hunger.
In spite of the devastating loss of incomes due to coffee rust and severe drought in the region, hardworking participants in the seven communities of FRB’s Mexico-Chiapas program are managing to produce food for home consumption and sale for income. The program has supplied families with 750-liter water tanks in order to collect rooftop water whenever it does rain.
Doña Angélica said the first rains this year were few and sparse but she was able to fill her tank easily. Afterward, there was a period of 20 days without rain but, she said with joy,