The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

October 17, 2013

Food Resources Bank to celebrate ninth harvest

The Clinton Herald

---- — CLINTON — Seeds of Love and Hope, a Foods Resource Bank coalition in Clinton County, will celebrate its ninth harvest on Sunday, Oct. 20, at Elvira Lutheran Church in Elvira.

All are welcome to this ecumenical gathering to participate in prayer, potluck supper, games, combine rides and to learn more about an organization that seeks to foster self-sufficiency in the developing world.

As a Christian response to hunger, FRB links the grassroots energy and commitment of the United States agricultural community with the capability and desire of small farmers in developing countries to grow lasting solutions to hunger, FRB’s mission statement reads.

The organization links a church or group from the U.S. with a project in another country that has been examined and studied to make certain it can work. Each project must have “food sustainability” in the goal. That includes education, purchase of animals or seed that thrive in a particular country, and water procurement through installation of water catchment basins, reservoirs or wells.

U.S. members of FRB are these church organizations: Adventists, ADRA; Catholic Relief Services; Christian Church, DOC; Brethren, GFCF; Church World Service; Evangelical Covenant, CWR; Lutheran World Relief; Mennonite Central, MCC; Nazarene, NCM; Presbyterian, USA; Reformed Church, RCWS; United Church of Christ, OGHS; United Church of Christ, OGHS; United Methodist Comm on Relief; World Hope International; and World Renew.

These groups generally already have a team working in each of the areas the group supports and can go to the people and ask them: What is it you need to be able to feed your family or village? This is a grassroots effort — a hand up, not a handout.

Last year, the Clinton County FRB raised $12,000. Those funds went to a project in the Dominican Republic that is rehabilitating an abandoned coffee plantation for Haitian refugees to be able to grow crops to feed themselves.

An FRB team is planning to visit this project in early December. Anyone interested in joining the team should attend the Oct. 20 celebration to visit with Marv Baldwin, president and CEO of FRB, and with Steve Witt of Elvira for more information.

The celebration begins at 12:30 p.m. at Zion Lutheran Church. There will be a prayer ritual giving thanks and then a potluck supper will follow in the basement of the church. The FRB group is roasting a hog for the dinner; drinks will be provided. After the dinner, those attending will gather outside around a bonfire to roast s’mores, make some homemade ice cream on in old ice cream maker, shell corn with an old hand sheller and play some games. Everyone will have the opportunity to ride a combine as it combines the corn in the field.