First Posted: 10/16/2009
Local church leaders gathered together last week over a meal while they discussed ways to help those in need of food both locally and abroad.
Steve Lindsley, pastor of First Presbyterian Church, is heading up the effort for the walk that will be held on Nov. 1, which is All Saints Day. The 5K, or 3.2-mile walk, will start at Veterans Park. Registration begins at 2:30 and the walk begins at 3 p.m. This year the group is hoping to exceed the $16,000 annual goal set each of the past two years.
Joe Moran, the director of the Southeast office of CROP walk, was present at the planning session held at 308 Bistro.
It all started after World War II in an effort to end hunger worldwide, Moran said. Of the money raised in the 1,900 walks held each year, one-third of the money stays in the community where it was raised.
We want to be able to provide relief for those around the world who are not living in conditions where they are able to hold CROP walks. Part of the money we raise here will stay here, the rest will go to those who cannot help themselves, Lindsley said.
Jill Borders, program coordinator with Yokefellow Cooperative Ministries, the recipient of the local money raised by the walk, said the CROP walk is something that benefits the local food pantry.
With unemployment over 12 percent, which does not include those who are under-employed our estimates are there are about 20 percent of people living here that are food insecure. Weve seen parents go without their medications to be able to provide food for their children, Borders said.
She said in addition to food, Yokefellow Ministries provides medication assistance. With the money raised to help the food pantry, other monetary donations can be used for medication.
As many as 82 percent of people go without adequate health insurance or have no insurance at all, Borders said. Without food and medication, people cannot function properly in society.
Something that has been done in past CROP walks will be changed this year. Instead of the expense involved with giving out printed T-shirts, officials will be giving out plain white T-shirts to be decorated by children.
Local radio station owner Kelly Epperson will emcee the event and the praise band A Rise Within from Grace Moravian Church will perform.
Lindsley said that some might question why the group has decided to have the walk on a Sunday afternoon.
This serves as a way to do good Christian service in the community. There is something neat about having it on a Sunday afternoon. Usually people go to their own churches and do their own thing, but on this day we will come together and spend the afternoon raising money for those in need. The need is greater than ever this year, Lindsley said.
Just because the organizers are all Christians doesnt mean individuals who dont share their faith and corporate sponsors arent welcome, Lindsley said.
Its going to be a lot of fun and good exercise for a great cause, Lindsley said.
Registration forms can be picked up at Mobys Coffee or at Reeves Community Center.
For more information about CROP walk, visit www.myspace.com/mountairywalks4hunger or call 786-2803. Teams can also register online at www.cropwalk.org.
Contact Mondee Tilley at [email protected] or at 719-1930.