Foods Resource Bank Blog

Church World Service Receives Award in Serbia

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On February 13, 2013, CWS was awarded a gold medal from the national Red Cross of Serbia for “significant results in achieving the goals and objectives of the Red Cross.” The ceremony was held in the Red Cross headquarters in Belgrade and attended by General Secretary of Red Cross Serbia, Mrs. Vesna Milenovic, Secretary of Red Cross Smederevo, Mr. Tomislav Zivanovic, CWS Europe Regional Coordinator, Dr Vitali Vorona and Red Cross and CWS staff. Dr Vorona accepted the award on behalf of CWS.

02/27/2013 | Comments: 0 | Add Comment | Read More

A visit to FRB’s Bolivia Tacobamba Program - Part 2

Part 2 of 2 on a visit to FRB's Bolivia-Tacobamba Program by volunteers from IN growing projects. Click here to read part 1

Representatives from local partner Nord Sud realized very early on that they would have to gain the trust of the villagers if they were to be successful. They did this not by simply presenting the information and leaving, but staying and living in the village for 20 days of every month to work and teach alongside the villagers. It still took over 2 years of effort before the villagers began to accept the new ways of eating and farming. We saw a new 2-room school, and small metal bins they used to protect their crops from insects and rodents.

02/25/2013 | Comments: 0 | Add Comment | Read More

A visit to the Bolivia-Tacobamba Program - Part 1

A team of eight of us from Habitat for Humanity was going to be working in Cochabamba, Bolivia.  Since three of us were FRB partners – we volunteer for community growing projects in Indiana – we secured permission from FRB, program lead member Lutheran World Relief, and local partner Nor Sud to "drop in" on one of the villages in FRB’s Bolivia-Tacobamba program.

Tacobamba. Until this visit, it was just a name on a piece of paper. Every year our church Missions committee has a meeting after our harvest celebration to choose where our portion of our growing project’s money will go. This year they had been given a list of three programs from around the world and had chosen one in southern Bolivia called Tacobamba.

02/22/2013 | Comments: 0 | Add Comment | Read More

Conservation Farming and Rabbits Improve Nutrition and Income in Kenya

Dominique, a participant farmer in FRB’s Kenya-Ndeiya program, is gradually turning over his conventional 3-acre piece of land to conservation agriculture (CA). He’s become a role model for other farmers in the using CA, or Farming God’s Way (FGW), as it’s also known. Zero tillage plus mulch retains moisture; crop rotation helps to prevent diseases; organic fertilizer renews the soil and saves money; and inter-cropping wards off insects.

02/20/2013 | Comments: 0 | Add Comment | Read More

Returning to Traditional Cacao Production in Colombia

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Communities in the Colombia-Chocó program are turning from growing coca to raising native cacao (pronounced ca-COW) trees, whose fruit is processed into cocoa powder and chocolate. They traditionally lived off agriculture and fishing, but because of the economic isolation and lack of alternative employment in the region, many in this vulnerable population began illegally planting coca for the production of coca paste, to be made into cocaine. This was a highly lucrative but extremely dangerous activity. Colombian armed forces then began forcible fumigations to kill coca plants, once again plunging people into unemployment and risk.The program is now adding the cultivation of cacao to rice production as a way for the communities to produce their own food, earn income, and improve their quality of life.

02/18/2013 | Comments: 0 | Add Comment | Read More

Feeding the Hungry: Paoli Mennonite Fellowship Responds to Worldwide Needs

PAOLI, IN — While members of the Paoli Mennonite Fellowship are giving of their resources to help fight hunger in parts of the globe where food supplies are short, the congregation is finding the effort is reciprocal. The fellowship’s Lonnie Sears, who initiated the group’s involvement with a nonprofit organization called Foods Resource Bank, shared his view that the effort isn't just about giving, but also is about receiving.“PMF has made connections with people in other countries,” Sears wrote in an email. “FRB emphasizes working together with others and learning from others. While we in the U.S. are materially wealthy, other world regions without financial resources can have great social and spiritual wealth to share with us. We try to recognize ways that we can exchange these gifts rather than thinking we just give to others.”

02/15/2013 | Comments: 0 | Add Comment | Read More

Sharing the Gift of Improved Rice Yields in Cambodia

Farmers in Cambodia celebrate their rice harvest in December. This year, a farmer named Dia has much to be thankful for. Despite a tenuous year for rice farmers, along with drought after the initial rains began, Dia was able to harvest a good crop using the System of Rice Intensification (SRI). Dia is a member of one of the twelve Farmer Field Schools started by World Renew in the Cambodia-South Program with funding from Foods Resource Bank (FRB).

Dia has learned SRI and many other farming techniques through the Farmer Field School in his village, and he has put many of them into practice. Dia said, “Before,I just wandered around visiting people and didn't really put any effort into my farming. Now that I've learned these new methods from the Farmer Field School, I have been much more successful and motivated to try new things.”

02/13/2013 | Comments: 0 | Add Comment | Read More

Program-to-Program Visits in India are Eye-Opening and Inspirational

You just never know what might happen when two or more people from different cultures get together, but from my experience the results are always surprisingly great! This past summer FRB invited two women from the India Banka program to visit the US. Unfortunately, one of our invited guests, Suggamuni Kisku, a small-holder farmer, was unable to come. To honor the lengths that Suggamuni and local partner PRADAN went through to try and get her to the US, we invited her to join us on a program to program visit to the India-Partharkhmah program in the chilly Northeast of India.

02/11/2013 | Comments: 0 | Add Comment | Read More

Food and a Future for Eduardo’s Children in Nicaragua

Eduardo farms a small, hilly plot of land in the rain forest along the border between Honduras and Nicaragua. From his porch you can see corn and beans growing together, pineapple plants being used to prevent soil erosion, a small vegetable patch, and banana trees. It has taken thirteen years of hard work, but he is now able to grow enough food to feed his family throughout the year, with enough extra to share with needy neighbors and hungry children in his community.

02/08/2013 | Comments: 0 | Add Comment | Read More

Courage to try New Learning in India Brings Transformation

His father left the family when Bipro Diya was only seven. Bipro’s mother raised him and his three brothers on the meager produce of their one acre of land. Farming was their main source of food and income, but it was far too little for Bipro’s family; they lived with food insecurity six to eight months a year. The family survived by working as day labourers so they could at least purchase rice from the market. In 2009 Bipro joined ‘Umsaw Green Field,’ a farmers’ club formed by the Patharkhmah Food Security Project (supported by FRB and World Renew).

02/06/2013 | Comments: 0 | Add Comment | Read More