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Calling all walkers, joggers and strollers! Join us for Cumberland County’s 24th CROP Hunger Walk on Sunday, April 22, to fight hunger!

Cities all across the world use these events to raise money “to fight the root causes of hunger around the world through partner programs and initiatives,” according to event coordinator Rev. Laura Lupton.

“Currently, more than 2,000 communities across the U.S. join in more than 1,600 CROP Hunger Walks each year. More than 5 million CROP Hunger walkers have participated in more than 36,000 CROP Hunger Walks in the last two decades alone,” according to reports from the Church World Service, which sponsors of the walks. “This year CROP Hunger Walks will share almost $4 million with food banks, pantries, community gardens and other local efforts across the U.S.,” according to CWS information.

And this is not just money to help those far away. Twenty-five percent of the money raised in Fayetteville will go to 04-11-12-fight-hunger.jpgFayetteville’s Second Harvest Food Bank to assist those in our community.

This year every dollar raised will go even further. According to Lupton, “The Feinstein Foundation will divide $1 million among hunger-fi ghting events during March and April, and our CROP Hunger Walk is just such an event. The more funds we raise, the more we’ll receive — so every dollar counts even more!”

Originally founded in 1947, at the end of World War II, CROP coordinated relief for the suffering populations in Europe. CROP now stands for Communities Responding to Overcome Poverty and “is a cooperative ministry of 37 Christian communions working together to eradicate hunger and poverty and promote peace and justice among the world’s most vulnerable people,” says Lupton.

There is no registration fee, although participants are urged to register their intent to participate. It is hoped that walkers will raise their own support for their participation or make a donation. Raising awareness is an important component of the hunger walk, so even if participants are unable to raise support, they are encouraged to register and attend.

Individual sponsors also have the unique option of designating their donations to approved international hunger fighting agencies. Only 14.6 percent of monies raised by CWS will be used to cover management, fundraising and information sharing.

All walkers and joggers are welcome, including strollers and wheelchairs. For the safety of all event participants, bicycles and wheeled shoes are not allowed.

CROP walk coordinators also need volunteers to help with water stations, registration and phone calls. Local businesses and other donors help cover administrative costs, such as city permits and police supervision.

The walk will begin at 3 p.m. on Sunday April 22, with registration opening at 2 p.m. at Evans Metropolitan AME Zion at 301 N. Cool Spring St. in Fayetteville. For informational packets or forms, contact Sara Beth Lytch at sblytch@yahoo.com or (910) 867-0395. You may also visit the Fayetteville Crop Walk website at www.crophungerwalk.org.

If you are unable to walk this year, but would like to make a donation, the address for contributions can be found on the crop walk website.

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