food security

FRB Mourns Passing of Founding Member Vernon Sloan

With great sadness FRB announces the passing of one of our founders, Vernon Sloan. He peacefully entered eternal rest on October 7 at his home in Stryker, Ohio after battling a long illness. He was 91.

A fourth-generation farmer, Vernon considered it his mission to feed people. He dedicated both his farm and life to doing just that. In 1999, Vernon and his wife Carol founded FRB along with several agricultural business leaders and Christian organizations that fund and run international food security programs. Since then, FRB has helped over 1 million people in developing countries become food secure. Vernon’s legacy continues as we work to reach the Next 1 Million through agricultural training and development programs in 30 countries.

“He was a soft-spoken, yet well respected leader in his community who cared deeply for the world’s hungry,” says FRB CEO Marv Baldwin. “Vernon voluntarily served on our board for years and his vision, compassion, and faith will continue to guide us. His memory is a blessing.”

Visitation will be from 2-6 p.m. Friday, October 13 at the Stryker United Methodist Church, with a memorial service at 6:30 p.m. Fellowship time with family will immedialty follow the memorial service. Arrangements are by the Grisier Funeral Home.

Follow this link for more details on Vernon’s remarkable faith and service-filled life, including as a U.S. Army veteran and founder and past president of the Williams County Pork Producers, the Williams County Soil & Water Conservation District, and the Williams County 4-H Endowment Committee.

10/09/2017 | Comments: 0 | Add Comment | Read More

Mushrooming Success for Cambodian Farmers

Channy and Chantol, a young Cambodian couple, have seen many changes over the last few years, all thanks to a fungus.  They were among the first to adopt mushroom growing when World Hope began working in their village three years ago.  “We were skeptical at first, said Channy, “so we just built a small mushroom house to test it out.”  After realizing how beneficial mushrooms could be, they built a second, larger structure and their parents built two structures as well.
 
The couple works hard, and has become skillful mushroom growers.  Although they typically average an income of $300 per month, they have earned as much as $1,000 in a month from mushrooms alone.  This is especially impressive considering that the GDP per capita in Cambodia is $1,159.   On the off days between planting and harvest, Channy sells sugarcane juice for additional income.

As a result of their efforts, the couple has been able to purchase a motorbike, buy land, and build a new house. They are also raising chickens and ducks, and eating higher-quality food now, given their improved income. Their mushroom houses are still behind their parents’ home, but they plan to build additional structures on their own property soon. 

Although Channy and Chantol are in many ways model mushroom farmers, their success has not come without challenges.  Their parents recently filled in the land in front of their home, so when it rains hard, the water flows downhill into the mushroom house, bringing with it debris that can damage the growing crop.  In addition, now that others are also growing mushrooms, the necessary materials (rice straw and mung-bean pods) that were once readily available and free, are becoming very valuable and hard to find.


Cambodia East program
Led by World Hope
3 Communities, 340 Households, 1,700 Individuals



10/13/2017 | Comments: 0 | Add Comment | Read More

Food for Thought

These wise “Ten Commandments of Food” were developed by Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit and the World Council of Churches to address the existential challenge of hunger and inequity in an innovative and spiritually engaging manner.

12/14/2016 | Comments: 0 | Add Comment | Read More

Better Together: FRB and OAIC Form Partnership

Foods Resources Bank (FRB) and the Organization of African Instituted Churches (OAIC) recently announced a partnership agreement that strengthens their efforts to reduce hunger through sustainable agriculture and improved nutrition. By working together, the two organizations will now be able to share a network of learning and deepen their reach into communities at the economic margins of Africa.

“This is an exciting opportunity to create more paths to solving world hunger and learn from each other,” says FRB CEO Marv Baldwin. OAIC joins FRB's network of 23 partner organizations all focused on creating lasting food security programs in developing countries."

Adds OAIC Secretary Reverend Nicta Lubaale, “Being African means being resourceful. We are using local resources and teaching sustainable agricultural techniques to transform the way smallholder farmers grow food to improve their yields as well as the nutritional variety of the foods they produce and consume.”

Under-nourishment in Sub-Saharan Africa is a big challenge. The 2015 report of the State on Food Insecurity in the World indicates that 220 million people in Sub-Saharan Africa are living in a state of hunger. In the East African region, 37 million are undernourished. Both FRB and OAIC see agriculture as a lasting solution to hunger. By organizing community groups and providing tools and training to smallholder farmers, these farmers are able to generate sufficient food for their families, share the excess as well as sell some to afford household staples and school requirements for their school-going children.

“Charity never ends poverty,” says Lubaale. “But once you have productive land, you will not go hungry.”

FRB has supported one million people as they have transformed from living in chronic hunger to becoming food secure in its first 15 years and has set a goal to reach the next million in half that time. OAIC is targeting 3,000 congregations and farmers’ organizations to reach 400,000 smallholder farmers in three years. With an average of five family members per household, approximately two million people will realize food and nutritional security and improved incomes through OAIC’s outreach. 

 

 

 

 

 

11/17/2016 | Comments: 0 | Add Comment | Read More

"Humanitarians In the Richest Sense"

Congratulations to Foods Resource Bank’s own Ron DeWeerd and Reverend Joan Fumetti named as the 2016 Robert D. Ray Iowa SHARES Humanitarian Award winners. This prestigious award is given annually to recognize an Iowan who has provided significant leadership in confronting hunger and alleviating human suffering both at home and abroad. This is the first time the honor has been bestowed on two people.

“We are deeply gratified by this recognition of the humanitarian gifts of two people who have shaped FRB’s mission and ministry,” says FRB President and CEO Marv Baldwin.

When announcing the award recipients at a press conference on Monday, The World Food Prize organization lauded FRB as “one of the most dynamic and innovative agricultural assistance programs in America.”  The award will be formally presented to Ron and Joan at the Iowa Hunger Summit on October 10 in advance on of the World Food Prize October 12-14.

“Hunger is simply not acceptable in this era,” says Ron. “This award shines a light not only on the issue of hunger, but also on the organizations that are taking action to address it.”

Adds Joan, “We have heard first-hand from the farmers we have helped across the globe how the money we have raised is directly making a difference in people’s lives. I am profoundly thankful for the global network possibility FRB has helped create.”

Since 1999, FRB’s volunteers, community projects, member organizations, individual donors, corporations and foundations have made it possible for over a million people around the world to achieve food security. If you’d like to join FRB in reaching The Next 1 Million people, please donate online.  FRB has received the top, 4-Star rating of Charity Navigator, one of the nation’s most trusted charity evaluators.

Ron, FRB’s director of resource development, has been with FRB since it’s founding in 1999. Joan joined FRB as a volunteer in 2001, became our director of growing project development in 2002, and transitioned back to volunteer work when she retired from FRB in 2014. Together they have inspired thousands of people in Iowa and across the country to change the conversation about world hunger from food aid to supporting small farmers and their communities as they grow their own lasting solutions to hunger.

 “Ron and Joan have taught us, with their words and their actions on behalf of FRB, that all people everywhere deserve the opportunity live healthy, more productive, more hopeful lives,” says FRB board director Geoff Andersen, who spoke at the World Food Prize press conference announcing the winners. “By their example, they have demonstrated how each of us can play a part in ending world hunger. Thousands have heeded their call, and for that we are all grateful.”

Together, Ron and Joan inspired farmers, landowners, rural and urban people, churches, businesses, civic groups, youth organizations, and volunteers of every stripe to give the gifts they could give – time, expertise, elbow grease, or money – to allow FRB to offer practical and innovative ways to grow their own food, care for their families, and stay in their own communities.

“Our success would not be possible without FRB and the volunteers, farmers, churches and many U.S organizations that joined us in our mission,” says Ron. “That also includes the journalists that have helped tell our story to thousands across the Midwest and nation.” 

Adds Joan, “We have never done anything on our own. By connecting a network of people around the world, we’ve created lasting bonds between U.S. farmers and their farming neighbors half a world away.”

Both Ron and Joan continue to educate people about the complexities of world hunger: climate challenges, soil and water degradation, international markets, land grabs, natural and man-made disasters, and how all these affect the poor and the vulnerable. They are tireless advocates for peace and social justice and the potential of smallholder farmers to feed their communities as long as they have training and support and feel empowered to determine their own goals and realize their own dreams for their future.

 Says Geoff, “I know you join me in thanking Ron and Joan for their vision, their passion, their energy, and their belief in the dignity and value of all people. They are humanitarians in the richest sense, and I am grateful for their service to FRB and to all humankind.” 

09/28/2016 | Comments: 0 | Add Comment | Read More

Global Food Security Act (GFSA) Passes in Congress

Newsletter: 

On July 6, the US House of Representatives passed the Global Food Security Act, and the bill now only has to receive the approval of the President. The GFSA is an important step in advancing the efforts to combat global hunger that FRB supports.

07/11/2016 | Comments: 0 | Add Comment | Read More

DuPont and the Alliance to End Hunger Host Briefing on Food Security

Recently, FRB's director of development Ron DeWeerd participated in a congressional briefing on the issue of food security. 

DuPont Executive Vice President Jim Collins described food security as “representing one of the greatest challenges of the 21st century” during a June 9 briefing on Capitol Hill to release the findings of the Global Food Security Index (GFSI) prepared by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU).  The event was sponsored by DuPont and the Alliance to End Hunger.

06/28/2016 | Comments: 0 | Add Comment | Read More

Despite drought & severe food shortages, FRB programs are alleviating the need to migrate

By Laurie Kaniarz, FRB Staff

If you are a Foods Resource Bank (FRB) volunteer, supporter, friend, or staff, you are part of a grassroots movement that is helping people resist migration to cities or other countries to look for work to sustain their families back home. Our focus on agricultural development for small-holder farmers helps them find and practice real solutions to challenges like

09/15/2014 | Comments: 0 | Add Comment | Read More

As 5-year program ends, 29 communities in Laos are well on their way to lasting food security

FRB's Laos - Xieng Khouang program is doing exceptionally well after 5 years of funding. The project has exceeded expectations and is growing quickly! As a result, FRB will phase out funding for this program with confidence that these 29 communities in Northeast Laos are well on their way toward lasting food security. Read on to learn how they're doing it!  

07/10/2014 | Comments: 0 | Add Comment | Read More

From scarcity to surplus in Mozambique

Note: The Mozambican unit of exchange is the metical (plural meticais)  

One of the unique facets of FRB is that it allows time for programs to study unexpected results and challenges, learn from them, and share their findings with other programs and partners. FRB’s Tete-Mutarara program works with local farmers to improve their harvests so that nutritious food is available to them year-round. However, unusual and extreme weather patterns can cause emergency situations that alter well-laid plans. 

After flooding in early 2013 destroyed much of the newly planted crop, the program provided over 21 metric tons of improved seeds to the disaster survivors.

03/28/2014 | Comments: 0 | Add Comment | Read More
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