Church of the Brethren partner Foods Resource Bank (FRB) took two major actions at its annual gathering, held earlier this month in Holland, Mich. FRB announced a new name for the organization, Growing Hope Globally, which will emphasize its goal to “plant seeds of hope for generations to come.” The new name, along with a new logo, goes into effect Oct. 1. It also announced a new president/CEO, Max Finberg, who brings 25 years of experience in hunger relief work. He begins Sept. 1.
FRB was formed in 1999, according to a report from former Global Food Crisis Fund (now Global Food Initiative, GFI) manager Howard Royer. The Church of the Brethren joined FRB as an implementing member in 2004. FRB currently includes 19 implementing agencies and 164 active Growing Projects. It enlists 2,000 volunteers and assists 47 food security programs in 27 countries. Jim Schmidt is the Church of the Brethren representative on the FRB board.
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According to an FRB release, the new name “reflects our agricultural roots and the key role that we play in helping people a world away lift themselves out of poverty and hunger, providing hope for generations to come.” The new logo will contain “three interrelated parts”: a circle, a green heart, and three lines of soil.
Finberg, currently director of the United Nations World Food Programme in Rome, has held senior positions with Americorps/VISTA, the US Department of Agriculture, the State Department, and the White House. He first connected with FRB and many if its member churches nearly 20 years ago as the inaugural executive director of Alliance to End Hunger.
He began his career in hunger and agricultural programming as an aide to Congressman Tony Hall of Dayton, Ohio. While there, Finberg came to relate closely to a local Brethren farm family. He later was a volunteer at the Washington (D.C.) City Church of the Brethren soup kitchen on Capitol Hill. He holds a master's degree in religious studies from Howard University's School of Divinity and a bachelor's degree in political science and international relations from Tufts University.
Updated 1/15/2019 with new organization name and logo.