Conrad FRB Growing Project hosts annual community sweet corn feed

T-R PHOTO BY CHUCK FRIEND Some of the many attendees from the Conrad area enjoy the annual Food Resource Bank sponsored sweet corn meal on Aug. 19.

CONRAD – Reunion Park was the site on Aug. 19 for the annual community sweet corn feed sponsored by the local Food Resource Bank growing project members in an effort to benefit the national growing projects worldwide. This was the sixth year for the annual meal of sweet corn, chicken, hotdogs, bars and drinks with a free-will offering taken for FRB.

Alex Morse, the associate director of Latin American and Caribbean Programs for Food Resource Bank, was in attendance at this picnic to give a few brief remarks.

Morse said the Food Resource Bank organization is in the process of undergoing a name change — soon to be known as Growing Hope Worldwide. He said that currently the organization assists farmers in 29 countries in Latin America, Africa, Eastern Europe and Asia.

“The Conrad growing project’s sweet corn picnic is a wonderful event to bring the community together to support farmers worldwide,” Morse said. “It is so wonderful to see the compassion that the people in Conrad and the surrounding area have to support a great cause by collecting funds to assist farmers that the local people have not ever met.”

Don Linnnenbrink, a Conrad growing project member (and a leader in the vegetable garden of the local FRB project), said local area participation began 16 years ago with the area farmers just participating in raising corn and soybeans to be used for funding the worldwide projects. Members of the local growing project are currently the congregations from Ivester Church of the Brethren, Alice Church of God, Bethel Grove Christian Church, Conrad Methodist Church and the First Presbyterian Church of Conrad.

T-R PHOTO BY CHUCK FRIEND - Alex Morse, associate director of Latin American and Caribbean Programs for Food Resource Bank; Don Linnenbrink and the Rev. Kerry Carson (Conrad FRB Growing Project members) pose with some of the sweet corn that was being consumed at the annual Conrad FRB community sweet corn feed Aug. 19, as well as vegetables for sale. All monies raised went to help the local growing project help farmers worldwide through the efforts of FRB.

“There have been up to 20 youth members in the vegetable growing project throughout the years, but that number has declined in the recent years,” Linnenbrink said.

Morse added that some of the local youth members have also traveled to Guatemala to see first-hand how the funds from the vegetables they grew were helping a trout farmer and to see how vegetable funds were being used to help a drought stricken farmer in Burkina Faso in Africa.

An average of 150 community members attend the annual sweet corn feed which has helped the local FRB group raise money for farmers in more than 15 different countries.

For more information on the FRB growing projects or to become involved, look on their website at FRB.org