Did you know that the CROP Walk is turning 50 this year? The CROP Hunger Walk, a hunger-fighting initiative of Church World Service, was, for many years, a cherished fall event for me and for our sons as well. Now it's back in the Beatrice/Wymore area! That’s why I want to share a little more about why those first walkers walked, and what that means for all of us.
It all started in Bismarck, North Dakota in 1969. A group of young people were hearing stories about famine, hunger and poverty around the world. They knew they needed to help. They challenged themselves and their neighbors to walk 20 miles as a way to relate to people around the world walking long distances to survive. But it wasn’t only an act of solidarity. It was an act to shorten that journey for other people. So, for every mile they walked, they asked friends and family to donate to the food and water projects of Church World Service.
That little event was a huge success. From Bismarck, the idea spread from town to town all over the country, and a little walking event became the national movement to end hunger known as the CROP Hunger Walk. 50 years later, a few things have changed. We’re now walking around three to six miles instead of 20. And not only does the Walk support the global hunger and poverty-fighting work of Church World Service, but a portion of the funds helps families right here in our own community.
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And it makes a real difference! From providing clean water in remote regions of Argentina, or latrines in Vietnam, from houses in Haiti, to schools for refugee children in Serbia, our CROP Hunger Walk helps people in over 30 countries. We also support our friends at the Wymore Food Pantry and the Food pantries in Beatrice.
Last year, more than 800 walks with 87,000+ participants, raised over $8,300,000 to make hunger history.
Please, won’t you join us? Our Beatrice/Wymore CROP Walk begins at St. John’s Lutheran Church, 701 N Sixth St., Beatrice, Nebraska, at 1 p.m. on Sunday, September 22. You may join our team, or you may easily donate online. Our website address is Beatrice/Wymore, NE CROP Hunger Walk.