The 54th annual Mennonite Central Committee British Columbia (MCC BC) Festival for World Relief in Abbotsford raised over $1 million to support MCC’s global and local work feeding the world’s hungry.
Guests and donors at the festival, held over the weekend at Tradex, were invited to learn more about the tremendous global need for food, with over 830 million people living without enough to eat. The festival highlighted MCC’s ongoing work responding to hunger and poverty in war-torn South Sudan and Syria, as well as its response to local needs in the Fraser Valley.
Thousands of individuals enjoyed traditional Mennonite food, artisan crafts and artwork, donated plants and produce, homemade baked goods, a fundraising cycling event, entertainment and children’s activities.
The festival included an exhibitor area showcasing local charitable and community organizations as well as exhibits of MCC BC’s own local programs, including Homelessness Prevention and Outreach, Indigenous Neighbours, End Abuse, and Migration and Resettlement programs.
There were live performances by local artist The Arctic, Quintessential Jazz, and the Mennonite Educational Institute (MEI) Screaming Eagles Marching Band. Families enjoyed an interactive kids zone, Ukrainian crafts and a performance by children’s entertainer Norden the Magician.
The annual festival is largely volunteer-powered, with thousands of local residents donating their time, goods and energy for those in need.
“The need for reliable food sources across the world is substantial, and we have a responsibility to come alongside our global and local neighbours to help out,” says Wayne Bremner, MCC BC executive director. “Each year the Festival for World Relief is an opportunity for the MCC community and our local communities to respond to that immense challenge, and this year they responded generously again.”