On Oct. 17, a gathering of members from 18 different churches, pantry groups, and the wider community came together for an in-person Tioga County CROP Hunger Walk. The starting place this year was the First Baptist Church in Owego, where walkers registered for the walk.
In a press release, the organizers wrote, “It was wonderful to have an in-person walk this year, greeting friends, new and old, as last year was a virtual walk.”
After words of welcome and purpose by coordinator Diane Campbell, and an opening prayer by Pastor Jay of the Nazarene Church, the walk began. Members of the Purple Lightning Percussion Band led the walk through the village of Owego. Two well-marked routes, one shorter (1.3 miles) and one longer (3.5 miles), led to the ending place at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, where walkers were greeted with refreshments and drinks.
CROP Hunger Walks work through the ecumenical Church World Service organization, which was born out of a desire to help the most vulnerable in our world. Now, 75 years later, the mission remains the same, transforming lives in underserved communities in more than 65 countries including the United States. Tioga County food pantries benefitting from the CROP Walk locally include Tioga County Rural Ministry, the Lounsberry Food Pantry, the Spencer Van Etten Food Cupboard, Bread of Life Pantry in Candor, and the ACT Dinner (a weekly meal served on Thursdays as take out at the Owego First Baptist Church).
Each year teams from local churches and pantries work to receive donations from friends and family. This year Pat Howe, who is a volunteer at Tioga County Rural Ministry, raised a little more than $4,000 on her own.
The press release continued, “Pat knows first-hand the strains on a large family during hard times. She is a very compassionate person who says her reward comes knowing her hard work impacted another person positively.”
Another walker who goes the extra mile, the organizers noted, is Trudy Kunzman. Trudy came close to making her goal of raising $1,000 this year.
And all ages were accommodated during the walk. Just ask 98-year-old Eudora Shuler, who walks each year as a part of the First Presbyterian Union Church Team.
The release added, “Every year is a success – a fun way to come together and make a difference. This year was history making!”
The CROP Walk Treasurer, Freedom Morehart, reported that the walk raised $22,259.27, the largest amount raised since 1980. Because of this, the organizers especially wish to thank all of the volunteers and participants for making this year’s walk such a great success.
For more information about the walk, contact Diane by email to email@example.com.