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A-MAIZE-ING GRACE GROWING PROJECT

I am pleased to report that FUMC has joined forces with eight area Church’s to help support the Food Resource Bank through the A-maize-ing-Grace growing project. Our partners are; First Presbyterian Church - Grundy Center, United Methodist Church - Grundy Center, Bethel Grove Church - Liscomb, Ivester Church of the Brethren - rural Grundy Co., Alice Church of God – Conrad, United Methodist Church – Conrad, First Presbyterian Church – Marshalltown.

What is the Food Resource Bank (FRB)?

FRB is a Christian response to world hunger. The concept was originated in Canada and has worked successfully for more than twenty years. In 2002 Canada had 250 growing projects involving over 1500 acres. FRB is committed to providing food security in developing countries by helping to create sustainable small-scale agricultural production. This is implemented through Christian missionaries picked by FRB.

How does FRB work?

Farm land is donated or rented to plant a crop (our project is corn). Donations of agribusiness are solicited to supply crop inputs. Churches, businesses and individuals are solicited to cover any cash inputs required. Area farmers donate their time and use of their equipment to till, plant, spray and harvest the crop. The crop is sold and the proceeds are used to buy food supplies, seed, tools. Proceeds help to implement agriculture techniques such as irrigation, tillage, planting and other agronomic production issues. The major focus of FRB is to implement and teach self sufficiency by putting in place long term agronomic methods. However, meeting immediate food needs is a necessary part of any hunger program.

How much of the proceeds are used for administration?

Zero! Once all the crop inputs have been paid for, 100% of the money goes to the selected project or projects. FRB relies heavily on volunteers and no overhead is taken out. Additionally FRB matches portions of the donation through a grant by the U.S. Government.

Who Controls the proceeds?

Projects are approved by FRB. Those approved by FRB have established Christian missionaries in place to insure the proceeds are used as intended. Proceeds are not given to governments or citizens of those countries. Instead missionaries utilize this money to put sustainable agricultural practices in place and to meet immediate food needs. The old adage is still true, give a man a fish and feed him for a day, teach a man to fish and feed him for a life time.

What is our project?

Our growing project is a 155 acre farm located one half mile east of highways 14 and 175 in Grundy county. The farm is owned by Carroll (Pinky) Doak. Local Farmers Arlyn and Brent Schipper of Conrad will coordinate all field work. At this point, all of the seed, chemicals and their application, crop scouting and crop marketing have been secured through donations. We are still working on the cash input donations. These would entail rent, insurance and payment for fertilizer applied last fall.

Who is the recipient of our project donations?

Our project proceeds are earmarked for Madagascar Africa. With per capita of less than $250 per year Madagascar people have difficulty in feeding their families. Madagascar was just recently hit by a horrific cyclone. Damage was very severe in many locations. We will be working with the Church of Jesus Christ in Madagascar. Our contacts there are Dr. Daniell and Elizabeth Turk. Dan and Elizabeth are members of West Raleigh Presbyterian Church in North Carolina. They have a son Robert and a daughter Frances.

What is FUMC’s role?

Our role is to be an active participant with our partners. We are currently combining forces with First Presbyterian Church of Marshalltown in sponsoring a “Taco John’s” night. Monday May 3 rd from 5:00 to 8:00, ten percent of the sales proceeds will be donated to the A-maize-ing Grace growing project. We are thankful to Gary and Sarah Gimbel of Taco John’s for their generosity. We need a huge turnout from FUMC to help support our fellow partners. Other fund raising activities will be communicated as they are put in place.

Can anyone donate?

Yes! Donations can be made to FRB through FUMC.

Dates to Remember

April 28th, 6:30 pm. Field dedication and blessing (approximately 15-20 minutes at the field site.) Anyone wishing to attend, contact Rob Shiek @ 752-0488 or 750-0084.
May 3rd 5:00- 8:00 pm. Taco John’s night.

Respectfully submitted
Rob Shiek