The Joy of Shopping for Groceries

Fruits and Vegetables at a Grocery Store in Columbia

When Wendy Yurani Balboa and her family arrived in Colombia, they couldn’t afford to eat much more than rice. They had fled Venezuela—along with hundreds of thousands of people like them—because of the extreme poverty and food shortages plaguing the country under the current government. But life in a new country was still extremely difficult. 

 Wendy was the only one in her family of nine who was able to find work, meaning they had to carefully measure out food so that everyone could eat just one meal a day. Other families like hers describe how the adults would have to skip meals so their children could eat.

 “It has not been easy at all coming here from far away without knowing where to work and how to provide for our children,” Wendy says.

Her experience of hardship and hunger mirrors that of many others like her, who arrived in Colombia with few resources and found limited access to jobs or public services. But World Renew as a member of Canadian Foodgrains Bank is working to change that story. 

Store front view of a local grocery store in Columbia

World Renew in  partnership with ZOA Refugee Care in Colombia has helped 2,056 families like Wendy’s since January 2020. Each family involved receives food vouchers, which they can use at their local store to purchase the items they most want and need. For Wendy, the opportunity to provide her kids with a variety of nutritious foods has been the biggest change, as she describes:

 “I can’t believe the joy of my children that they get when they can choose what they want to eat. They can choose plantains, fruits, vegetables, and different types of food. . . before, we did not have money to buy what we needed or wanted. Because if we bought a carton of eggs, we could not purchase other stuff like meat or chicken.”  

The vouchers have become even more timely as COVID-19 has made hunger worse for families across the world—and Colombia was no exception.

“It has been a blessing to be a part of this program,” Wendy says. “I mainly give thanks to [World Renew] and Canadian Foodgrains Bank for your help that is so important to us…especially in this pandemic moment.”

Grocery check out line in Columbia

By supporting World Renew’s work with Canadian Foodgrains Bank, you can help mothers like Wendy provide their children with the food they desperately need. On Canadian Foodgrains Bank Sunday, you can help replace hunger with joy by supporting this vital work. 

Because of our unique partnership with Canadian Foodgrains Bank, your gift towards emergency food assistance will be matched up to 4X!

To find out more about Canadian Foodgrains Bank Sunday, access our church and children’s resources, or watch our “Ending Hunger” video, go to

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