Harvesting for the hungry


Acres Madden

Acres of Hope secured land north of Rivers to harvest for Canadian Foodgrains Bank; in the background is the M&M Drilling (former Madden Repair) shop. Harvest day is typically supported by Rivers Elementary School as part of Agriculture in the Classroom. Photo by Sheila Runions

Sheila Runions

      Banner Staff

Nearly 20 years ago a group was formed to support Canadian Foodgrains Bank, “A Christian response to hunger,” which was formed in 1983.

Acres of Hope is the local committee and they have planted fields near Rivers and Oak River for 17 seasons. This year’s Rivers-area land was immediately north of town on the west side of Hwy. 250; its 149 acres were seeded to spring wheat. Harvest day was Tuesday, Oct. 7 and nine combines (of three different colours) cleared the field in 110 minutes. The combines were supported by two grain carts and seven trucks.

Acres of Hope chairman Ron Krahn says the afternoon harvest saw “eight farms, one local trucking company and one machinery dealership involved. Twenty-four Grade 4 kids with teacher and EA were present in the field for a combine ride, snack and some learning about food production and farming.”

Because our deadline is Tuesday at 5 p.m., Ron was unable to provide more details regarding finances but he did know 6,582 bushels were measured. The wheat was harvested on the high side (17.5 per cent moisture) so some will be stored, dried and sold later while some has already been sold.

“Details as to the price are not certain at this time.”

Any donations received by Canadian Foodgrains Bank are matched by the federal government at a 4:1 ratio. When this wheat sale is added to the Oak River field (not yet harvested) and other donations (like the farmers market sales in August) the contribution from Acres of Hope is very significant. 

This year’s harvest was attended by CBC TV which promoted the event on its evening news that day. Their video segment was also posted online on  Oct. 7.