It has gone to Jim Cornelius
Canadian Foodgrains Bank’s executive director Jim Cornelius has won the Lewis Perinbam Innovation and Impact Award for his work to help end global hunger.
The award is presented to an individual and an organization each year by the Canadian Council for International Cooperation (CCIC) and the World University Service of Canada (WUSC), in collaboration with the trustees of the Lewis Perinbam Award. Cornelius has won the individual’s award for his work.
According to their website, CCIC defines an innovative practice as “a new or more impactful means of, or approach to, addressing development challenges and improving the lives of the world’s most vulnerable.”
“Jim’s work demonstrates that Canadians are uniquely positioned in imagining new innovative and hopeful approaches to the wicked challenges that the world is facing,” says Jean-Marc Mangin, Chair of the Trustees of the Lewis Perinbam Award.
Throughout his 22 years as executive director, Cornelius has led various innovative approaches to the Foodgrains Bank’s work of ending global hunger, including efforts to improve the efficiency of Canadian food aid.
Before 2005, 90 percent of money for Canadian food aid had to be spent on Canadian farm products. The hope was to support Canadian farm prices, by buying and shipping Canadian grain overseas, while helping feed the world. Food aid had a low impact on the Canadian agricultural market, though, and shipping grain was an inefficient way to respond to hunger. It often took too long to reach those in need, shipping food was expensive, it deprived local farmers of a market, and the food shipped from Canada – usually wheat – was often not part of the local diet.
Cornelius led a successful lobbying effort of different Canadian stakeholders, including farmers and non-profit organizations, to convince the Canadian government to change the way it provides food aid. It’s been over ten years since Canada began buying most of its food aid from local sources.
“Now people whose lives have been disrupted are receiving the emergency food they need to survive more quickly and efficiently,” says Cornelius.