Taber and District Foodgrains Project helps to combat world hunger

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The 21st annual Taber and District Foodgrains project brought close to 100 volunteers together in an effort to combat world hunger. Matt Battochio reports.

The annual Taber and District Foodgrains Project brought together dozens of southern Albertans Thursday in an effort to help battle world hunger.

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Twelve combines harvested a field of wheat about 14 kilometres (nine miles) east of Taber in a great show of what can be accomplished through volunteerism.

Between private donations and the proceeds from the sale of the wheat, the group estimates they should be able to donate close to $150,000. For each dollar donated towards food assistance projects, the federal government provides four more dollars.

The funds will help aid hunger in areas like south Sudan, Etheopia and Kenya.

“The farmers here are stopping their own harvest, and preparation for their own harvest, and they’re coming here because they believe this is important,” Canadian Foodgrains Bank Southern Alberta coordinator Andre Visscher said. “They want to do this and it warms my heart to see this happening. It’s great.”

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This marks the 21st year of the Taber and District Foodgrains Project. It’s seen impressive growth from just a three-person team to an organizing committee of seven with close to 100 volunteers.

“When [the group] originally started, they actually went around and got growers to donate loads of grain,” Taber and District Foodgrains Project chairman Jeremy Wild said. “Then they actually shipped that grain to the [developing] world.”

READ MORE: Southern Alberta farmers and businesses raise thousands for those in need

Even in a tough growing year, the group was prepared.

“This is an irrigated quarter, so the crop looks amazing,” Wild said. “We’ve had the heat and of course being able to put the water on ourselves, it’s going to be a great crop.”

The Canadian Foodgrains Bank has 255 projects across Canada annually, including over 30 in Alberta.