The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America


Far-reaching harvest

From the Midwest to Malawi, Foods Resource Bank serves up food and dignity

When 10 farmers from the Ottawa, Ill., area harvested last fall, they did more than yield corn and soybeans. They helped provide food security for the hungry in Southeastern Africa.

The farmers participated in a Foods Resource Bank community growing project with members from Trinity Lutheran Church, Ottawa, and Barrington United Methodist Church near Chicago.

This ecumenical partnership enabled hungry people in Chingale, Malawi, to return to their farms after receiving relief aid.

With that aid, they're building wells, increasing chicken and goat production, reforesting their land with fruit-bearing trees and cassava, and planting maize, beans and sweet potatoes. The program, which impacts 4,500 households, also provides a literacy program, training, and necessary materials such as seeds, fertilizer and tools.

The Ottawa farmers donated their time, labor, machinery, expertise and part of their crop to the project. Trinity members donated $140 per acre to pay for farmers' land costs. The Methodist church pledged $205 per acre to cover the cost of seed, fertilizer, herbicide, insecticide, fuel and machinery. And Pioneer Hybrid, a local production plant, donated $1,000 as a part of its community development program.

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