Skip to content

CROP Hunger Walk celebrates 30 Years

April 29, 2011

by Christine Kenyi

Hundreds of people will once again come together this weekend for the 30th annual CROP Walk for Hunger to raise money for hunger eradication programs locally and around the world.

The walk begins and ends in the Pine Hills neighborhood on Sunday with walkers leaving First Lutheran Church on 181 Western Ave. at 1:30 p.m. Walkers have the option to either follow a 4.5 mile loop with periodic rest stops, or to navigate the shorter ‘Golden mile’ loop. Refreshments will be provided at First Lutheran Church after the walk.

The original meaning of CROP was Christian Rural Overseas Program. It was set up by Church World Service a union of 37 Christian groups and congregations founded in 1946. After World War II the organization launched a Wheat for Relief appeal, encouraging Midwestern farmers with a surplus to donate it and relieve hungry people all over the country. In 2007 on the CROP hunger walk’s 60th anniversary, the name was changed to Communities Responding to Overcome Poverty to reflect the nature of the interfaith efforts that the national walks had evolved to.

“The walks are to sort of model what three fourths of the world does to survive, which is walk – walking for water, school, medical care,” said Doug Anderson, the New York Regional Director of Church World Service. “I think when the world has enough goods, wealth, and money to feed seven billion people and does nothing to stop the deaths of starving people, we need to do better.”

CROP walks all over the country are overseen by Church World Service.

“This is a world broken by unshared bread. I use that phrase a lot with both religious and nonreligious groups,” said Anderson.  “A hungry world is not a stable world. It is not the kind of world you want your kids to grow up in.”

Albany’s annual CROP walk is coordinated by the Capital Area Council of Churches. Over the past 30 years, Albany CROP walks have raised a total of over $1.5 million. One quarter of all the money raised goes to assisting local food pantries and soup kitchens, while the remaining money goes to Church World Service agencies and other organizations it supports to fight hunger around the world. Kitt Jackson the Chair of the Albany CROP Hunger Walk Committee has been organizing walks for 14 years now.

“It’s really a shame that there’s so many hungry people when there really is enough food,” she said.

In honor of the hunger walk’s 30th anniversary in Albany, Jackson would like to increase last year’s successful numbers by 30%. This year’s goal is to increase the number of participants to 650 walkers from just more than 500l and, to build donations to $127,982 $98,448.

The proposed route for the May 1st 2011 hunger walk (Courtesy of Capital Area Council of Churches)

Evelyn Stone has been participating in the CROP hunger walk for 29 years now, and at almost 85 shows no sign of slowing down.

“It’s the thought to help someone and to keep someone alive. So you keep coming back and of course you keep thinking of the people in our own neighborhoods who can’t get enough to eat,” Stone said. “We just want to do all we can.”

To celebrate her upcoming 85th birthday, Stone has set a personal goal to raise $8,500.

“In this area people are very generous. Crop walkers are a part of my life,” she said.

Stone has already received pledges from many people and is hoping to attract more donations from local businesses. Also for the first time, with the help of her daughter, she is using the online pledge and donation function to make it easier for people to support her.

“The hardest part is going out into the community and getting support. Sunday is a cinch,” said Stone.

She credited the camaraderie that has developed among walkers as one of the reasons for her continued participation in Albany hunger walks over the years.

Registration is at 12:30 p.m., followed by a brief opening ceremony before the 1:30 p.m. walk begins.  Participants who raise at least $30 will receive a ‘CROP Walk 2011’ t-shirt and participants who raise $300 or more will get a canvas grocery tote bag with the logo. For more information on how to participate contact the Capital Area Council of Churches at 518-462-5450 or visit the Church World Service website:

“It’s a special kind of feeling you get to be with people,” Stone said.  “And of course we walk whether it’s raining or whatever.”  -30-


From → Uncategorized

Leave a Comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: