The Canadian Foodgrains Bank is feeling the pressures of COVID-19.
The organization is devoted to providing food in times of crisis to hungry people in the developing world, but has seen some of its fundraising decline without the ability to host its usual concerts and dinners, due to COVID-19.
It’s finding, however, that individual donations are up.
Why it matters: The Foodgrains Bank provides reasons for rural community members to come together to help others, but that won’t be as possible this year.
“(COVID-19) is going to impact the amount of funds that we were able to raise through (organized fundraising events). I’m not quite sure yet what that impact is going to be at the end of the day,” says Henry Reinders, Ontario representative for Canadian Foodgrains Bank.
Funds are directly donated to the organization and some are also applied to input costs for crop inputs or land rental on sites managed by farmers.
Several famers will work together on a set of acres to prepare, grow and harvest the crop. Once the crop is sold all of the money is donated to the Canadian Foodgrains Bank.
“I’ve discovered here in Ontario in many cases the inputs are donated by the local agribusinesses that support these projects as well,” says Reinders.
Although fundraising is down, farmers are still able to get their crop in and the support from agribusinesses is still very strong.
“It looks very hopeful as far as what our results will be at the end of the year in terms of the crops sold and the money that comes in from that side. I’m optimistic that we will have maybe a better year this year than we had last year, because our weather’s much more cooperative.”
Although the annual events are on hold, Reinders has noticed an increase in funds from individual donations.
“There has been a trend of really strong support, (individuals) are upping their donations or giving additional donations, and new donors are coming on board to work with the Foodgrains bank because they are realizing that COVID is not only impacting Canadians but people around the world.”
Just as Canadians are experiencing supply chain issues, and losing their jobs, it’s very much the same situation in developing countries.
“The issue there is of course that people are relying on the job that they have today to put food on the table tonight.
“We’re all in this together in the world. Getting ahead of COVID is something we need to accomplish not only in Canada but around the world.”