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Sackville choirs presenting Common Vision Concert at Mount Allison University Chapel to raise funds for Foodgrains Bank

Sackville resident Margaret Tusz-King (far right) visits a small community in West Bengal, India that receives humanitarian support from Canadians through the Canadian Foodgrains Bank. Tusz-King is on the Board of Directors of the Canadian Foodgrains Bank, and was part of a delegation to Laos and India in 2016, to learn more about hunger caused by war, drought and injustice. PHOTO SUBMITTED
Sackville resident Margaret Tusz-King (far right) visits a small community in West Bengal, India that receives humanitarian support from Canadians through the Canadian Foodgrains Bank. Tusz-King is on the Board of Directors of the Canadian Foodgrains Bank, and was part of a delegation to Laos and India in 2016, to learn more about hunger caused by war, drought and injustice. PHOTO SUBMITTED

Upcoming event aims to help put end to global hunger

SACKVILLE, N.B. – Choir members from four local congregations will join on Sunday, Nov. 5 to sing, celebrate, and raise funds to help put an end to global hunger.

“We are thrilled to be hosting a fundraising concert for the Canadian Foodgrains Bank for the first time in our community,” said Dodie Perkin, one of the concert organizers. “We anticipate that this will be an afternoon of wonderful music, in support of a well-respected humanitarian organization.”

All funds raised will help the Canadian Foodgrains Bank respond to hunger emergencies around the world.

The Canadian Foodgrains Bank had its start about 40 years ago, after farmers in western Canada began to discuss how they could share their excess grain with people who needed it. The world was experiencing severe food crises in places that were vulnerable to climatic, political, and financial problems, and many prairie farmers were increasingly uncomfortable seeing their excess grain left to rot beside the grain elevators once they had reached their government quotas.

In 1976, amid growing world food emergencies, the Mennonite Central Committee created a pilot project to allow these farmers to share their harvests with those less fortunate around the world. In 1983, the project was re-organized, opened to other church agencies, and re-established as the Canadian Foodgrains Bank (CFGB).

In the early days of their organization, the CFGB concentrated on shipping grain and other commodities to some of the neediest countries in the world. Their first major contributions were during the famine in Ethiopia in 1984. The Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) supported the CFGB, providing funding for additional grain, and to pay for shipping.

Today, the Canadian Foodgrains Bank is a partnership of 15 church and faith-based agencies working together to end global hunger. In 2014-15, they helped 1.1 million people in 39 countries have enough to eat. The Canadian government provides $25 million annually in 4:1 matching financial support.

The CFGB supports international programs to meet immediate food needs for people who are hungry due to war, drought, or poverty, and provides tools and training to help small-scale farmers feed themselves. The CFGB also supports education and training for families to reduce malnutrition, especially for children and nursing mothers. In addition, CFGB advocates for national and international policies to end global hunger, and educates Canadians about issues relating to food security and food justice.

Sackville’s concert is one of about 70 Common Vision concerts to be held in communities across Canada this year. Performing at the concert are choir members from Middle Sackville Baptist Church, Sackville United Church, St. Paul’s Anglican Church and St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church.

The concert will be held on Sunday, Nov. 5, at 3 p.m. at the Mount Allison University Chapel. It will feature a short presentation on another regional fundraiser occurring at the same time in River Hebert, Nova Scotia, in partnership with Vision United Church from Moncton.

Donations made at the concert will be eligible for a 4:1 matching contribution from the Government of Canada, through the partnership between Canadian Foodgrains Bank and Global Affairs Canada. The concert is hosted by the Office of the Chaplain at Mount Allison University.

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