Global Food Initiative

The Global Food Initiative (GFI) is the primary way that the Church of the Brethren assists hungry people in developing food security. Since 1983, GFI (formerly Global Food Crisis Fund) has raised over $8,000,000 for community development projects in numerous countries around the globe. Read (and share!) the latest GFI newsletter or take a look at the list of 2022 GFI allocations, 2021 allocations, or previous GFI allocations.

GFI seeks to:

  • invest in small-scale economic development
  • join efforts to improve diet and health practices
  • champion soil conservation
  • promote awareness-raising and advocacy on hunger issues.

This work is made possible through your contributions. We encourage you to participate with us by:

  • praying that those who are hungry may have food
  • giving an individual contribution
  • participating in our ongoing “My 2¢ Worth” fundraiser (contact GFI for questions or materials)
  • taking an offering for GFI at your congregation or camp

Your support of the Global Food Initiative upholds the biblical command to lift the burden of the oppressed. Moreover it honors God, for as stated in Proverbs 14:31, “Kindness shown to the poor is an act of worship.”

Fundación Brethren y Unida

July 2023 presentation about FBU, Global Food Initiative’s partner in Ecuador (English captions)

Llano Grande, Ecuador

This video is from the El Mesias congregation in Llano Grande, which is part of the greater Quito urban area. The GFI recently gave a second grant to support an expansion of the church’s community garden through the Fundacion Brethren y Unida (Brethren and United Foundation) in Ecuador. The grant was $8,000 and primarily will be used to build a cistern and install a sprinkler system for irrigation.

“La Chacra” (sometimes written “Chakra”) refers to the typical form of agriculture practiced by the Quichua indigenous peoples of the Andes.

The GFI continues to support Bread for the World with an annual donation on behalf of the denomination.
Fundacion Brethren y Unida organized a “feria” or farmers’ market in the town of Picalqui. Local artisans, food vendors, and farmers were invited to sell their wares with FBU providing the publicity and securing the space for the market. A number of women and youth trained by FBU were able to sell their products directly to customers. GFI grants over the past three years have supported training in organic agricultural techniques as well as value-added food items.

  • Last round of grants for the year announced by denominational funds

    A last round of grants for the year 2023 were given from three funds of the Church of the Brethren: the Emergency Disaster Fund (EDF--support this ministry with donations at; the Global Food Initiative (GFI--support this ministry with donations at; and the Brethren Faith in Action Fund (BFIA--see

  • Polo Growing Project: An incredibly good news story

    In mid-summer, due to distressing weather conditions, the prospect for the 30 acres of corn that make up the 2023 Polo Growing Project appeared bleak. But at harvest in mid-October, the results were no less than astonishing, the crop yielding an average of 247.5 bushels per acre. Net proceeds for the project stand at $45,500, a notch above last year's near-record earnings of $45,000.

  • GFI grants support BVSer in Ecuador, agricultural training in the DRC and Mexico, community garden in Alaska, water project in Burundi

    The Church of the Brethren’s Global Food Initiative (GFI) has announced a series of grants supporting a new Brethren Volunteer Service (BVS) position in Ecuador, agricultural training in Mexico and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), a community garden and soup kitchen in Alaska, and a water project in Burundi.

  • Visit to Nigeria boosts agriculture program of Ekklesiyar Yan’uwa a Nigeria

    The trip was a fact-finding visit and a chance to learn more about the agriculture and business initiatives of Ekklesiyar Yan’uwa a Nigeria (EYN, the Church of the Brethren in Nigeria). We had opportunities to discuss and assess the possibilities of EYN’s idea to open a government-recognized seed business to serve farmers in northeast Nigeria.

  • Jeff Boshart announces his resignation from the Global Food Initiative

    Jeff Boshart has resigned as manager of the Church of the Brethren’s Global Food Initiative (GFI) effective Dec. 29. He has held the position, which includes managing the GFI fund as well as the Emerging Global Mission Fund, for more than 11 years, since March 2012.

  • Global Mission representatives visit the DR to discuss the separation in the church

    From June 9-11, as part of an ongoing attempt by the Global Mission office of the Church of the Brethren in the US to encourage unity and reconciliation in the Church of the Brethren in the Dominican Republic (Iglesia de los Hermanos Republica Dominicana), retired pastor Alix Sable of Lancaster, Pa., and Global Food Initiative (GFI) manager Jeff Boshart met with church leaders.

  • GFI grants are given to relieve hunger and support agriculture in Pennsylvania, Venezuela, Spain, Burundi

    Grants from the Church of the Brethren’s Global Food Initiative (GFI) are supporting food distribution to the Hispanic community in Lancaster, Pa., agriculture micro-projects by the Church of the Brethren in Venezuela, a community garden project of the Church of the Brethren in Spain, and sustainable agriculture education in Burundi.

  • Emerging Church of the Brethren in Mexico seeks official government registration

    An emerging Church of the Brethren denomination is in process of formation in Mexico, reports Global Food Initiative manager and Global Mission staff Jeff Boshart following a trip to Tijuana in mid-April. Documents to make the group an official church in the country are being submitted to Mexican authorities, beginning a process that is expected to take several months.

  • Global Food Initiative supports agricultural projects and training in Nigeria, Ecuador, Venezuela, Uganda, United States

    The Global Food Initiative (GFI) of the Church of the Brethren has given a number of grants in recent weeks, in order to support a Soybean Value Chain project in Nigeria, a church-based community gardening effort in Ecuador, a work-study opportunity in Ecuador for trainees from Venezuela, a vegetable production workshop in Uganda, and a community garden in North Carolina.

  • This book will change your life

    No doubt you’ve heard these words a few times. The salesman making his pitch, the magazine/TV/Internet advertisement--always with the guarantee that this book (or whatever product is being promoted) will be transformational. Quite likely you’ve heard it from your pastor, who was encouraging you to take the Bible more seriously. But one would hardly expect to hear this statement at a welding workshop.

Chef Kevin Belton caught up with local beekeeper, David Young, to see how he turned his home into something sweeter than produce.

SeedworldSoybean helps rebuild Nigeria

Church of the Brethren and SIL collaborate on a Soybean Production Guide. Read the story here. Get the Soybean Production Guide here.

Read about an EYN soybean value chain learning trip to Ghana in this Soybean Innovation Lab newsletter.

Read an earlier article on this collaboration with the Soybean Innovation Lab (scroll down).

Find out about the 2016 visit to the Soybean Innovation Lab Soybean Management and Appropriate Research & Technology (SMART) farm in Ghana.

David Young of Capstone 118, GFI partner in New Orleans

Pastor Martin Hutchison of Community of Joy Church of the Brethren