Sunday, Oct. 2, Charlotte will again host an Eaton County CROP Hunger walk, starting in Bennett Park. CROP Hunger walks are community-organized events sponsored by Christian World Service. The purpose of the walk is to raise funds and create awareness for the hungry in the global and local community.
This year there are 10 groups, each of which have been receiving donations from co-workers, church members, family, and friends. These walkers will meet on Sunday afternoon at 1:30 p.m. for registration, and start a 4.1-mile walk at 2 p.m. Last year the Charlotte and Eaton County community raised over $16,000 from CROP Walk donations.
“It’s real simple. There’s hungry people and we can feed them,” said Marie Kineman, organizer of the Charlotte CROP Walk and teacher at Charlotte Middle School. “For me, I think about everything we have. We have an abundance. Other countries don’t have that.”
CROP walks have brought communities together to feed the hungry for more than 40 years. While the funds go directly to creating new ways for people to feed their families and communities, the funds also go to enabling people to start careers and provide for themselves in the long term. Kineman shared one example of a mother of five children who was receiving business training because of the help she received from CROP Walk donations.
“It’s not just throwing money at problem, but giving them means to sustain themselves,” said Kineman. “There’s water management in Kenya brought through CROP money. Where people might have had to walk seven miles for water, now it’s right in their own community. There’s help in giving animals and livestock to families, or vouchers for food and tools.”
The CROP Walk in Charlotte doesn’t just serve the international community, however. Twenty-five percent of the funds donated for the CROP Walk will be used in the local community. Some of those funds will go to Helping Hands, SIREN/Eaton Shelter, and community dinners at the Fraternal Order of Eagles in Charlotte.
Readers should know that anyone is welcome to attend the walk on Sunday Oct. 2, regardless of whether he or she raised funds or not. One of the purposes of the walk is to also create awareness of hunger in the world, and the more walkers that attend the greater the statement will be. The walk begins at Bennett Park with registration at 1:30 p.m. There are two stops along the 4.1-mile walk, one at Dean Park, and another at Lawrence Avenue United Methodist Church. Attendees are also encouraged to bring canned goods to the event for the food pantry.