Retired dairy farmer Joe Krentz’s years of dedication and selflessness have been recognized in a big way.
The Langley senior and father of nine was chosen by the Holy Father, Pope Francis, to receive the medal Benemerenti in honour of his years of service and dedication to the Church in Vancouver, and particularly for his work serving the needs of the disadvantaged in developing countries.
“You are a deserving recipient of this award,” J. Michael Miller, Archbishop of Vancouver, said in a letter to Krentz.
“Your devotion to the Church, expressed by your passionate service to Canadian Food for Children B.C., exemplifies faith in action.”
Krentz, 86, received the medal during the Closing Mass for the Jubilee Year of Mercy on Nov. 13 at Holy Rosary Cathedral.
Krentz has been president of the CFFC’s division in B.C. since 1998. The society began in B.C. in White Rock in 1990.
A registered charity with the Canadian government, CFFC B.C.’s mission is to help the suffering and starving children of the world by raising funds to purchase food for the hungry in developing or disaster stricken countries, it’s noted on CFC’s website, canadianfoodforchildren.org.
“I’ve been incredibly fortunate to never have experienced the difficulties I see in the world every day. I can’t imagine what it’s like to go hungry,” Krentz said on the website. “We’re all looking to make a difference in our world and I believe that by focusing on communities, we’re going to make the most substantial impact. The world is made up of these important social connections and if fostered positively, they’ll pay huge dividends — in love, care, and a better world.”
Krentz said he will never stop being part of CFFC B.C., “as long as I’m healthy.”
“We have a board of nine directors,” Krantz said. “And I have a vice-president who will step into my place.”
This year, CFFC B.C. shipped 19 containers, each filled with 55,500 pounds of food, to Haiti and Sierra Leone.
Two years ago, 22 containers and more than one million pounds of food were shipped to needy people in developing countries.
Krentz has seen the need, first hand, having visited Haiti two years ago. “It was nice for me to go over there,” he said. “It was quite an experience.”
On top of the work Krentz does with CCFC, he hasn’t completely retired.
“I’m still on the farm,” said Krentz, a resident of Langley since 1954. “Now I sell hay. I don’t want to get rid of the farm, yet.”