By Carolyn Marnon – You are invited to come out and walk on Sunday, May 1, at the annual Wayne/Westland CROP Hunger Walk being organized by Wayne First Congregational Church. Have fun with the family as you walk the approximately one mile designated course that meanders from the church along Michigan Avenue to Elizabeth St to Washington Park and along the river to Josephine and back to the church.
The Crop Walk is a community-wide event that is sponsored by Church World Service and is organized by local churches and groups to raise funds to end hunger at home and around the world. Twenty-five percent of the money raised at the Wayne/Westland Crop Walk will be shared locally with St. Mary’s Bolde Center, Good Hope Lutheran Food Pantry, the Salvation Army and FISH. The remainder will go to Church World Service to aid grassroots development efforts around the world.
Registration for the walk starts at 2:30 p.m. at Wayne First Congregational Church, 2 Towne Square. The walk will begin promptly at 3:00 p.m. Anyone can participate. You can gather sponsors prior to the walk who pledge a certain amount for you to complete the walk or you can make a donation. This is a fun activity for families to do together.
Six churches participate in the Wayne/Westland Crop Walk: Wayne First Congregational Church (Wayne), First United Methodist Church (Wayne), St. Mary Catholic Church (Wayne), Kirk of Our Savior Presbyterian Church (Westland), St. Richard’s Catholic Church (Westland) and Good Hope Lutheran Church (Garden City).
CROP began in 1947 and was an acronym for Christian Rural Overseas Program. Its primary mission was to help Midwest farm families share their grain with hungry neighbors in post-World War II Europe and Asia. CROP walks began in 1969 and are considered “the granddaddy of charity walks” according to the Los Angeles Times. On October 17, 1969, a thousand people in Bismarck, North Dakota walked in what may have been the start of the hunger walks related to CROP and raised $25,000 to help stop hunger. It is thought that the first “official” CROP Walk for the Hungry was held in York County, Pennsylvania followed by more walks in other communities which has spread each year since. More than five million CROP Hunger Walkers have participated in the last two decades alone.
For more information, contact Eileen Rowland at (734) 858-7535.