food security

"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

In Kenya, communities build sand dams to address water needs

Pastor Matayo is a community leader in FRB’s Kenya Ngong-Intashat program who was involved in sand dam construction across a seasonal river, from start to finish. The program’s goal is to increase food security by making water more available for household use, livestock and agriculture.

07/19/2013 | Comments: 0 | Add Comment | Read More

FRB growing project in SW Michigan raises over one million dollars in ten years of “growing lasting solutions to hunger”

A passionate collaborative effort by six local churches and volunteers has helped a local Foods Resource Bank (FRB) Growing Project exceed $1 Million in proceeds for overseas food security. 

After 10 years of harvesting crops for the Foods Resource Bank through the partnership with growers and volunteers, the Kalamazoo County-Calhoun County growing project has raised $1,007,018 for world hunger by 2013. 

07/11/2013 | Comments: 0 | Add Comment | Read More

In Uganda, program farmers are well on their way to food security

One farmer’s story

Emmanuel, 47, is now closer to food security for his family thanks to context appropriate ag training and a loan of plant materials from the FRB-supported Uganda-Teso food security program. With the farming technologies he’s learned, he’s produced enough cassava and groundnuts to sell.

07/08/2013 | Comments: 0 | Add Comment | Read More
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