I have been involved in helping with a local food bank in rural Ontario for some years and saw the direct needs of Canadians experiencing food insecurity. I also went on an overseas mission to Sierra Leone and saw the effects of poor nutrition on the health of children and realized that there was a broader definition of hunger to include enough sustainable nutritious food. I saw a small group on the ground understanding the local needs make lasting change. After the restrictions of the pandemic I was looking for an opportunity to be involved in helping to raise awareness of the problems of those in the world that are hungry and to motivate Canadians to help as well. I connected through the United Church of Canada website to the Canadian Foodgrains bank and signed up for the Hunger on the Hill Program. I prayed, talked to friends, and was accepted for this initiative. After two zoom meetings where I met the others involved in the program from across Canada, I drove to Ottawa to continue learning about global food insecurity, an increasing problem due to climate change, the pandemic and war.
1 Timothy 6 v 18 “tell them to use their money to do good”
The United Church of Canada is one of the original partners of the Canadian Foodgrains bank, a Christian organization whose mission is “working to end global hunger.” For two days we started with a centering prayer exercise and then went on to learn more about the issues and the need to provide $ 500 million from the $5.3 billion climate finance package. This money had already been pledged by the Government of Canada at the G7 summit in 2021. The ask now is that some of the money be used from this Climate Financing package to go towards supporting small scale farmers to learn about and practice climate resilient food systems. With the significant rise in global hunger of 180 million people due to the war in Ukraine and the effects of drought and flooding the needs are great today and expected to increase.
We were divided into 5 groups of four people, one staff member from Canadian Foodgrains Bank and the rest volunteers, with each team meeting with several members of parliament. How to open the meeting was discussed with the need to be concise and not to waste their time. To be factual and provide literature about climate change, the need for resources to be provided to small scale farmers. A similar order was used with each presentation, with all team members given an opportunity to speak to each MP. Notes were taken and a picture to record the moment and to allow for follow up as needed depending on the questions asked by the MP’s. The meetings we had were very positive. All MP’s were willing to hear the ask, asked questions about the areas they were interested in and were willing to step up and write letters and discuss the matter further.
Join in on Wednesday at 7pm for more details on the background to hunger and the following week for more on Hill Day and what has happened since. Send your email here and ask for the zoom link.