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Free to Serve

April 26, 2016 - On March 29, I was honored to be among the 250 people gathered at the Hall of Laureates in Des Moines, Iowa for “Women and Agriculture: The Road to Global Security”. Organized by the Foods Resource Bank, Oxfam America, and the World Food Prize Foundation, the event celebrated the critical leadership of women and the importance of ensuring human rights and eliminating hunger in order to achieve global peace and security.

Iowa’s Senator Joni Ernst shared a particularly powerful source of inspiration. While in college, she had the opportunity, through a government exchange program, to work alongside peasant farmers on a collective farm in then communist Ukraine. After a full day of manual labor, there were no tractors available on the collective farm, the Ukrainians and Americans would eat supper together. These conversations often included questions about agriculture in the United States, but the Ukrainians were even more interested in what it was like to be free.

What is it like to be free?

05/10/2016 | Comments: 0 | Add Comment | Read More

In West Africa, volunteer “animators” lead communities in learning

In FRB’s West Africa 1 program, volunteer “indigenous animators” are 15 program participants who have taken on a larger role in making sure that training -- on appropriate farming techniques and village savings and loan practices -- actually takes hold among their peers. Over time, as the number of West Africa 1 participants has grown, the trained animators have taken on more of a leadership role.

02/27/2014 | Comments: 0 | Add Comment | Read More

Longtime FRB volunteer receives President’s Volunteer Service Award

Newsletter: 

Norm Braksick of the Kalamazoo/Portage MI office of Foods Resource Bank (FRB) recently received President Obama’s Volunteer Service Award (PVSA) for Lifetime Achievement, in recognition of his many years of volunteer service, not only to FRB but to other organizations and causes. 

A minimum of 4000 hours of volunteering over a lifetime is required to obtain this award, and Norm has far surpassed that figure at FRB alone as volunteer Executive Director of Foods Resource Bank from 2000-2005, and volunteer Regional Development Staff from 2005 to the present.

11/06/2013 | 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

Norm Braksick Receives MI Rotary Award

Norm Braksick, shown in this photo from 2004, worked for 30 years at The Upjohn Co. and was president of the Asgrow Seed Co. before retiring in 1997. In late 1998, he agreed to help form the Foods Resource Bank, a nonprofit international organization involving faith, agriculture and world hunger.

The Portage Rotary Club honored retired corporate executive and ongoing volunteer services leader Norman Braksick with its 22nd Annual Community Service Award last Wednesday.

04/19/2013 | Comments: 0 | Add Comment | Read More
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