Foods Resource Bank Holds Annual Meeting

Church of the Brethren Newsline
July 27, 2007

The Foods Resource Bank (FRB) annual meeting took place in mid-July at Sauder Village in Archbold, northwest Ohio. Global Food Crisis Fund manager Howard Royer was among several Church of the Brethren members who attended.

Brethren participate in the Foods Resource Bank through the Global Food Crisis Fund, which is a ministry of the Church of the Brethren General Board.

“Some 200 people impassioned about hunger action were present for the Wednesday focus on growing projects,” Royer reported. Patty Hurwitz was on the program to share the story of the growing project of Grossnickle Church of the Brethren in Myersville, Md. Also present from Grossnickle were pastor Timothy Ritchey Martin, Jennifer Leatherman, and Patty and Don Hughes.

Late this fall the Hughes plan to join Foods Resource Bank staff member Bev Abma in a visit to the Kenya Bamba program, which was supported by $36,000 from the 2006 proceeds of the Grossnickle growing project and matching funds from USAID.

Other Brethren present were Floyd Troyer and Sam Reinoehl of Pleasant Chapel Church of the Brethren in Ashley, Ind.; Steve Rodebeck of Pleasant Dale Church of the Brethren in Decatur, Ind.; and Lois Kruse from Ivester Church of the Brethren in Grundy Center, Iowa. Bonnie Baker, a Presbyterian from Hutchinson, Kan., represented a growing project in which three Brethren congregations are partners: McPherson (Kan.) Church of the Brethren, Monitor Church of the Brethren also in McPherson, and Community Church of the Brethren in Hutchinson, Kan.

Maynard Saunder, CEO of Sauder Industries and son of the firm’s founder, addressed the annual meeting. He told the group that a favorite saying of his father was, “It’s amazing what you can do when you don’t know you can’t do it,” reported Royer. “In spite of its fast growth, FRB still seems to have that semblance of innocence about it.” Other speakers included Max Finkberg, executive director of the Alliance for Hunger, and Jim Thompson, acting director of USAID’s Global Development Alliance.

“Especially moving were the presentations of four overseas guests, representing programs in Bolivia, Cambodia, Kenya, and Zambia assisted by FRB grants,” Royer said. Hanah Mwachofi, a water technician from the Kenya Bamba program, who had spent a couple of days at the Church of the Brethren Annual Conference in Cleveland, also has visited a growing project of South Waterloo (Iowa) Church of the Brethren, the Grossnickle project, and the ECHO training center in Florida, which was the site of a Church of the Brethren youth workcamp this summer. Mwachofi returned to Kenya on July 19.

One day of the meeting was given to a smaller group delving into ways of moving overseas programs and grant communities beyond subsistence, Royer said, adding that, “These words–‘beyond subsistence’–became a kind of unofficial mantra.”

In naming new officers, the FRB board elected as chair Doug Harford, an FRB volunteer and a farmer from Mazon, Ill., to succeed Cort Miller of Nazarene Compassionate Ministries in Kansas City. The board’s winter meeting is slated for San Antonio, Texas, in January. Its 2008 annual meeting will be held in July at Souix Falls, S.D.

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The Church of the Brethren Newsline is produced by Cheryl Brumbaugh-Cayford, director of news services for the Church of the Brethren General Board. Howard Royer contributed this report. Newsline stories may be reprinted if Newsline is cited as the source. To receive Newsline by e-mail go to Submit news to the editor at For more Church of the Brethren news and features, subscribe to “Messenger” magazine; call 800-323-8039 ext. 247.

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