First Presbyterian Church to host Columbia CROP Hunger Walk

Friday, September 30, 2011 | 7:26 p.m. CDT

COLUMBIA — The First Presbyterian Church will host this year's CROP Hunger Walk, sponsored by the Church World Service.

Registration for the event starts at 1:30 p.m. Sunday at the church, 16 Hitt St.; the walk kicks off at 2 p.m.

Marilyn Bettenhausen, the event's coordinator, said the walk — which begins and ends at the church — will be about two and a half miles. Refreshments will be served afterward. 

More than 20 churches and organizations in Columbia are participating, including members of the Christian, Buddhist, Muslim, Hindu and Jewish communities, Bettenhausen said.

"We welcome everyone to join us, and they do not have to be affiliated with any faith groups or organizations," Bettenhausen said.

Three water stops will be available, at the Islamic Center of Central Missouri, First Christian Church and Campus Lutheran Church.

Walkers are encouraged to bring one item with them to donate, such as a cup, towel or bowl. These items will be collected and sent to the Interfaith Day Center and Loaves & Fishes Soup Kitchen, which serve meals to the homeless.

CROP Hunger Walks are the main sponsored community-wide events of the Church World Service. Local congregations organize hunger walks or groups to raise funds to end hunger locally and internationally.

Online donations can be made to support the cause until the end of the year, Bettenhausen said. So far, $1,946 has been raised online for the local event.

Seventy-five percent of the donations will go to the Church World Service. The rest will be divided among Loaves & Fishes Soup Kitchen, the Russell Chapel Food Pantry and the Latter House Kingdom Ministries Food Pantry. 

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