Canadian Baptist of Western Canada

Good Soil Campaign

The CBWC is partnering with the Canadian Foodgrains Bank, Canadian Baptist Ministries, and A Rocha to provide grassroots public education on food security and to request that the federal government restore funding to small scale agriculture in the Global South to 2010 levels of $450 million.

The Good Soil Campaign will:

  1. provide grassroots public education on food security issues
  2. engage congregational reflection on the connected issues of food justice, production, consumption and creation care.
  3. reach members of the federal parliament through letters, petitions and visits

WHY?

One in every nine people globally — almost 1 billion people — has been hungry or malnourished for a year or more. More than 50% of these people live in rural areas of the Global South where food is produced. Many of the farmers are women whose partners leave home to seek temporary employment. Farmers with small landholdings are a key to reducing the deadly statistics of hunger and improving child nutrition levels. It is estimated that 84% of family farms in the world have less than 2 hectares of productive land. Yet they account for 80% of global food productive. Increasing the productive capacity of these farmers will address hunger issues in their communities and nations.
These farmers need our support.

Within Canada, about 850,000 Canadians depend on food banks each month — 25% more than before the 2008 recession. More than 1/3 of food bank recipients are children. Malnutrition reduces life expectancy by up to 15 years, leads to higher rates of diabetes, strokes, heart attacks and dementia, and perpetuates a cycle of poverty.

WHAT ARE WE DOING?

The Good Soil campaign encourages each Canadian Baptist congregation to make a public statement. There are three basic models for joining in the Good Soil Campaign:

Sunday morning service & Christian education program — use Good Soil resources for worship and learning activities. Includes signing a letter to your local MP.

Church meal — a simple meal and learning session. Includes signing a letter to your local MP and also bending a spoon in a symbolic act to declare that something is wrong when so many are deprived of basic nutrition.

Church Workshop — Single churches or clusters of congregations can meet to discuss food issues using Good Soil resources. Themes include the role of food banks, climate change, urban gardens, consumer responsibility and challenges facing farming families. A shared meal, bending spoons and signing letters to MPs are included in this option.

WHY BEND A SPOON?

Bending a spoon is a symbolic action illustrating the point that we want the federal government to ‘unbend the trend’ of declining support for food security. We are saying our food system is broken and needs to be fixed. Spoons will be collected to create a unique Canadian Baptist sculpture that represents the horror of hunger.

HOW CAN I GET INVOLVED?

Then Good Soil campaign will officially start in the fall, likely launched in Calgary. For more information, go to http://unbendthetrend.ca/about/. There, you will be able to register your participation in the spoon-bending action and gain access to resources that are being developed.

You can also go to the Canada Foodgrains Bank website to find out more about the Good Soil campaign and download resources.

In the meantime, for more information, contact Gordon King, the Canadian Baptist Good Soil Coordinator at gking@cbmin.org or 204 898 1633.