Funds raised during Masstown event earmarked for South Sudan

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MASSTOWN – The third annual Harvest 4 Hunger Nova Scotia Picnic will take place Aug. 24 at Captain Cob’s Corn Maze at the Masstown Market.

Captain Cob’s Corn Maze at the Masstown Market is the site of the third annual Harvest 4 Hunger N.S. Picnic, scheduled for Aug. 24. Submitted photo

The picnic is part of the Harvest 4 Hunger Growing Project, where local farmers, agri-business, Masstown Market and Trinity United Church work together to raise funds for the Canadian Foodgrains Bank in efforts to end world hunger.

“We are slowly reducing global hunger and global poverty but that doesn’t mean we have come close to the end of it,” said Truro’s Brenda Leenders, Nova Scotia co-ordinator for the Canadian Foodgrains Bank.

All funds raised from the picnic are designated for South Sudan, a strife-torn country in Africa, where about 3.7 million people (one-third of the population) are at risk of starvation.

“When we were planting our crops or gardens, thinking about summertime, they couldn’t do that because it wasn’t safe, so there they are in their country not able to go on their fields and plant, so we’re really expecting a pretty dire situation there in a few months when normally they’d be harvesting their crops to be eating,” said Leenders.

Festivities at the corn maze are scheduled for 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. In addition to the maze, participants can enjoy a worship service, horse-drawn wagon rides, musical entertainment, corn on the cob, sausage, blueberry shortcake and ice cream. Admission is by a monetary donation.

“That’s what I like about it – it allows everybody to participate in the way that they can,” said Leenders.

There will also be an educational component to this year’s event. Organizers will display a board with photos, which indicate the various projects the Canadian Foodgrains Bank is working on. Also, dead-end signs in the maze will identify various causes of hunger that exist around the world.

“So we’re increasing awareness about what is happening in the world,” said Leenders. “And I find Canadians really do care that people are hungry, so this is a way that we can do something about it.”

In true community fashion, Captain Cob’s corn field was was tilled, seeded and fertilized voluntarily by area farmers, while local area agri-businesses provided seed and other inputs.

The corn will be harvested in the fall and sold at an auction during the Nova Scotia Federation of Agriculture’s annual general meeting in Truro in November.

“Farmers bid for the corn and they understand the purpose, so they usually bid above market value,” Leenders said.

In total, last year’s event raised more than $13,000.

Organizations: Canadian Foodgrains Bank, Masstown Market and Trinity United Church, Nova Scotia Federation of Agriculture

Geographic location: South Sudan, Nova Scotia, Africa

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