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Donations and special events support famine relief

September 30, 2011 No Comment

by James Morgan

The Bible verse from Psalms “For the needy shall not always be forgotten, and the hope of the poor shall not perish forever,” (Psalm 9:18) describes well the outstanding response to Canadian Lutheran World Relief’s (CLWR) appeal for support to aid those suffering from drought and famine in East Africa. The Lutheran agency reports donations of more than $500,000 to fight famine in Ethiopia, Kenya, and Somalia, an amount the federal government will match dollar-for-dollar. Although the deadline for the matching funds was September 16, CLWR is still accepting donations as the need to help the hungry feed themselves and their families continues.  

Ration meal of bread and beans

Across the country, the serious situation in East Africa has drawn attention. On September 9 in Winnipeg, CLWR and other Christian aid agencies including the Canadian Foodgrains Bank (CFGB) and the Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) collectively raised $106,000 in one day as a result of special local CBC programming devoted to the famine. The organizations provided a special ration meal for the event that took place at a Mennonite church in Winnipeg.

The ration meal, attended by business and religious leaders from Manitoba, consisted of simply bread and beans, an example of the daily ration those fleeing famine in East Africa’s refugee camps receive for a meal. Rev. Dr. Leonardo Neitzel, Lutheran Church–Canada’s executive for mission and social ministry spoke to the gathering said grace before the meal.

The Canadian Foodgrains Bank, of which CLWR is a member, is encouraging families and congregations to host their own ration meal to raise awareness and funds for famine relief. Recipes and tips can be found on CLWR’s website http://bit.ly/CLWR_ration_meal or the CFGB’s website; http://www.foodgrainsbank.ca/ration_meal.aspx .

To donate to CLWR’s East Africa Famine Appeal, go to www.clwr.org/donate , call; 1-800-661-2597; or send a cheque payable to CLWR, 302-393 Portage Ave. Winnipeg, MB R3B 3H6. Please indicate that you would like your cheque to go towards East Africa famine relief.