‘It’s a fantastic thing’: Fort Saskatchewan farmers harvest to fight world hunger

Charity harvest north of Edmonton aims to feed thousands
Sat, Sep 8 - The annual Share the Harvest fundraiser is taking place near Gibbons this weekend. Dozens of people have joined the effort to end hunger around the world. Albert Delitala reports.

A group of Fort Saskatchewan-area farmers took to the field for charity once again this weekend, raising money in an effort to end hunger in developing countries.

As part of the Share the Harvest fundraiser, 13 combines, half a dozen trucks and over 20 volunteers harvested a 150-acre barley field near Gibbons, Alta. on Saturday. They finished the task in about two hours, all for the benefit of countries in need.

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“We really do feel like we live in a country of abundance and we feel called to share in prosperity with others that have less than we do,” said Shaun Galloway, a director and founding member of Share the Harvest.

The farmers have taken part in the effort for 16 years, growing and selling crops. All proceeds are donated to the Canadian Foodgrains Bank, which distributes the funds among developing countries.

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“We continue to work to get more and more Canadians involved in the work that we do,” said Terence Barg of the bank. “[We aim] to educate people about what’s happening in our world, with issues around hunger and to get them involved in helping to eliminate hunger in our world.”

READ MORE: Taber and District Foodgrains Project helps to combat world hunger

The group hopes to raise over $100,000 this year with community and industry contributions, including the recently-launched Grow Hope Project. The field near Gibbons alone is expected to generate about $65,000.

“We’ll get a cheque for that right away — it gets donated. This money moves really fast and it really gets to the places we want to,” said Cecil Goutbeck, who has been a participant since the launch of Share the Harvest.

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The money raised is multiplied up to five times by the federal government, which offers up to $25 million in grants to 260 grow projects across the country.

“It’s just an awesome experience to be working with a group of individuals that all have that same heart to help others and they can be counted on every year to come and help us,” Galloway said. “It’s a fantastic thing.”