Nine combines took to a field near Lacombe to harvest 160 acres of canola for the Central Alberta Foodgrains project last fall. (Photo contributed by Chris Dyck)

Land wanted for Central Alberta Foodgrains project

23rd year for Lacombe area charity

Central Alberta Foodgrains is looking for land in Lacombe County for its 2018 project.

Doug Maas, committee member, said in 2017 the project raised $117,000 mostly from the sale of canola grown on 160 acres, as well as donations.

“That was our best year ever in terms of fundraising. Our previous best was $105,000,” Maas said on Wednesday.

Money raised goes to Canadian Foodgrains Bank, a partnership of 15 Canadian churches and church-based organizations, working to end hunger in about 40 countries around the world.

Money raised is matched four-to-one by the Canadian government so local fundraising ultimately helps contribute $585,000 to food and food security assistance projects throughout the developing world.

Maas said the project needs to find a farmer willing to donate or rent land as soon as possible, March 15 at the latest. The farmer will determine what crop will be grown then local agri-businesses will be approached to donate seed, fertilizer and weed spray.

“We never know where our field is going to be each year. Sometimes it’s west of Hwy 2, sometimes it’s east of Hwy 2. Last year we were just northwest of Clive.

He said local farmers are asked to volunteer their time in the spring and fall so the same farmers aren’t doing the work year after year.

“We’re not burning out our volunteers. That’s what’s kind of nice about spreading it around.”

He said Central Alberta Foodgrains project was one of about 35 projects grown last year in Alberta.

“We’re one of the longest consecutive growing projects in Alberta. We’re very passionate, dedicated group. This is our 23rd year of this project and we still have three original committee members.”

Across Canada there are over 225 projects.

Maas said at one time Canadian Foodgrains Bank used to ship food to where it was needed. Now Canadian Foodgrains go countries where the need is greatest and buy locally to help build the local economy and buy what suits the local diet.

Food vouchers are also given out at Syrian refugee camps.

Anyone with available land in Lacombe County is asked to call Jack at 403-885-4380.

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