Webster County farmers donate crops to F.O.O.D. Project
By KATIE LEFEBVRE, Globe staff reporter
October 12, 2006
WEBSTER COUNTY - For the second year, farmers in Webster County are donating
part of their crop to the F.O.O.D. (Fields of Opportunity and Dreams) Project.
Nineteen farmers have donated about 70 acres of their crops to the F.O.O.D.
Project. According to Sister Margaret Kruse, SSSF, pastoral minister for the
Webster County Team Parishes, the number of farmers as well as acreage has
double this year. USAid will match the amount donated by the farmers in Webster
The farmers participating are mostly parishioners of the Webster County Team
Parishes. One farmer is from the Lutheran church. Sister Margaret noted that
they are trying to make this an ecumenical project.
"What we are finding is that this is probably the one project that we
are not helping people just to help them. What we are doing is providing the
finances so that they can become self-sufficient themselves," said Sister
Margaret. "It goes back to the saying, 'If you give a person a fish, they
will last a day. If you give a person a fishing pole and teach them how to fish,
they will become self-sufficient.'"
Sister Margaret mentioned that many people benefit from this project.
"I think our farmers benefit in the fact that they are mainly giving out
of what they are naturally able to give. They are giving their expertise in
farming, their time and their talent," she said. "I think all of our
parishioners are also gaining because what we are trying to do is to help them
make the connection that we can be with another group of people who have so much
less than us. I think it benefits the people in Tanzania, who are predominately
women farmers. They are becoming more and more self-sufficient and able to raise
their families on their own."
A harvest celebration will be held Oct. 22 on the farm of Rich and Kathy
Allen, one mile south of Clare. The celebration will begin at noon. People are
encouraged to bring their families to the farm for hayrides, farm tours, combine
rides, face painting, pumpkin painting and contest and apple bobbing.
"It is a Sunday this year instead of a Saturday," said Sister
Margaret. "We thought we could pool more people to come on Sunday."
A prayer celebration will begin at 1:30 p.m. The service will include Sts.
Isadore and Maria as well as a former president in Tanzania whom the people of
Tanzania are seeking to be canonized.
"The harvest celebration is going to be our faith event from our faith
festival for October," said Sister Margaret. "The theme for October is
all saints, so we want to make that connection with the harvest celebration. We
chose Isadore and Maria because they are the patron of farmers. We've chosen
Julius Nyerere because he was a president for about 24 years in Tanzania. He was
a president for the poor. He was able to prevent his country from going to civil
There will be songs that are part of the service. Ron DeWeerd, the Food
Resource Bank representative, may speak about one or two of the projects that he
has experienced in Africa. Sister Margaret added that she would like to also
have one or two of the farmers talk about their experience in taking part in the
At 2:30 p.m. a potluck lunch will be served. People are asked to bring a dish
to share and a lawn chair. Dishes, silverware and drinks will be provided.
The rest of the afternoon, until 4 p.m. those gathered are welcome to
continue to tour the farm and participate in the activities.
"The Food Resource Bank encourages people to have a harvest celebration
of some sort," said Sister Margaret. "Also it is a prime opportunity
to gather not only the farmers involved but also any persons in the parishes who
have been donating their money or people from our faith festivals who have been
hearing about it for the last year. It is a great opportunity just to pool
people together and give thanks for the bounty that God has given us and to let
them know that they have been a part of that whole process."