Foods Resource Bank Blog

Reaching out to the needy in Honduras, despite violence

AKRON, Pa – Like the biblical widow who faithfully offered her mite, a tiny Brethren in Christ (BIC) association in the hot, arid, mountainous area of southern Honduras has been working selflessly with neighbors in spite of growing violence and changing weather patterns. Honduras now has the highest homicide rate in the world according to 2011 U.N. figures – 82 per 100,000 inhabitants per year – and the prevailing lawlessness caused the U.S. Peace Corps to withdraw its volunteers from the Central American country in January.

With Mennonite Central Committee’s (MCC) support, the Social Development Committee of the Brethren in Christ churches in Honduras, known as CODESO, is teaching farmers how to store crops, providing microloans and offering agricultural training – all to develop a more reliable food supply and income.

02/04/2013 | Comments: 0 | Add Comment | Read More

Community Savings and Loan groups work to improve local bridge in Sierra Leone

A community-rehabilitated bridge in the Koinadugu community of Sierra Leone has become a “bridge to the future.” The new bridge is an example of how, when people from local Savings and Internal Lending Communities (SILCs) contribute money and labor to improve their village’s infrastructure, everyone benefits.

01/30/2013 | Comments: 0 | Add Comment | Read More

Importance of Community Participation in Reducing Post-Harvest Loss

Nicolao, a farmer in the Timor Leste - Viqueque program, lives with his wife Martinha and their two children. Each year he prepares his soil and plants maize, just like the other farmers in this remote and rural part of the country. Maize is the staple grain for most families here, and Nicolao depends on a good harvest so his family can have enough to eat throughout the year.

Nicolao plants what seeds are available to him, which are not the improved varieties, so he often has low yields when it is time to harvest.  After harvest he stores the grain as best he can, but he still loses between 25% and 30% of his crop each year to mold, rodents, and weevils.  There just is never enough to last throughout the year. Some of his neighbors sell their maize right after harvest. Although the prices are low, they at least receive something for their work instead of watching it rot, or be eaten by rodents.

01/21/2013 | Comments: 0 | Add Comment | Read More

Ag development for small farmers heals the land in Nicaragua

Heydi, 32, a farmer in the disaster-prone area of Nicaragua along the Coco River (Río Coco) on the country’s eastern coast, now has the knowledge to provide food for her family thanks to training she receives at her local agricultural training center. FRB’s Río Coco program operates in the indigenous communities of this geographically isolated region which suffers from extreme rates of poverty, malnutrition, and vulnerability to climate change and natural disaster. After Hurricane Felix in 2007, local partner Acción Médica Cristiana created the center to offer communities appropriate agricultural practices to help them grow food in spite of the loss of trees and topsoil.

01/16/2013 | Comments: 0 | Add Comment | Read More

Children of God

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In mid-December, as part of an expression of Week of Compassion’s partnership with Foods Resource Bank (FRB), I traveled to two very different states in India, Bihar and Meghalaya, to see some of the results of the food security programs we support through work with local on-the-ground partners and members of FRB’s ecumenical network.  From the sleepy mountain town of Shillong  to the chaotic bluster of Kolkata, India’s diverse people, landscapes, and cultures absorbed my attention, begged many questions, and gave me much to ponder, even weeks later.

01/14/2013 | Comments: 0 | Add Comment | Read More

Young FRB Volunteers Give up Pizza for Tanzania

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Recently I was invited to dinner with the Vanden Bosch family, a family that in 2011 solicited help for a school project (see “Children Give Up Treat to Help Others in Need”). They followed that up in 2012 by giving up pizza for 6 weeks and documenting the amount they would have spent every time they thought about having pizza during that six weeks. 

01/11/2013 | Comments: 0 | Add Comment | Read More

Addressing How Gender Affects Food Security

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FRB is partnering with Lutheran World Relief (LWR) on three new programs which are focusing on the impact of gender on food security. The following blog post was written by LWR on the new India-Jamuni program. 

Food security — or all the factors that provide for sufficient, safe and nutritious food — is an issue that is at the heart of LWR’s work around the world. Our work to improve agriculture among small farmers and provide clean water for consumption, or irrigation, is so that families around the world can have a greater amount of food security. With food security comes greater health, independence and economic well-being. Of the many factors that contribute to food security, there is one that we have been looking at recently that may come as a surprise: gender.

01/07/2013 | Comments: 0 | Add Comment | Read More

Co-op services help members get ahead in Haiti

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Members of farmer cooperatives in FRB’s Haiti-Northwest program spoke with recent FRB visitors about how much the program’s co-ops mean in their lives:

Delisia remembers breaking down in tears when her children were kicked out of school for non-payment of fees.  She felt she would have to choose between her children’s education and her livestock. It was a difficult situation. She had livestock, but they weren't ready for market and would fetch a low price if she was forced to sell them. The sale would cover school fees but she wouldn't have any money left over to purchase new animals for fattening.

01/03/2013 | Comments: 0 | Add Comment | Read More

The Popular Banquet

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In the spirit of Christmas and the approaching New Year, we would like to share a song from Juan Pablo Morales, the Program Coordinator for the Guatemala-Sibinal program supported by FRB and Mennonite Central Committee. Juan Pablo was an FRB overseas visitor this past summer and sang this song at the meeting. Here's a link to an MCC podcast that features Juan Pablo singing El Banquete Popular (The People's Banquet).

http://www.mcc.org/stories/podcasts/popular-banquet

12/26/2012 | Comments: 0 | Add Comment | Read More

Exchanges Between Bolivian and Paraguayan Communities Teach and Inspire

“The most important thing is the opportunity to participate and to learn.” – Ana

Through exchange visits between Gran Chaco communities in Bolivia and Paraguay, participants get ideas and inspiration from others who face similar challenges as they work toward achieving food security.The Chaco region that crosses the borders of Bolivia and Paraguay is the second largest ecosystem in South America after the Amazon.

12/21/2012 | Comments: 0 | Add Comment | Read More