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FROM READERS: CROP WALK helps relieve hunger in Columbia

Thursday, February 9, 2012 | 2:57 p.m. CST; updated 5:56 p.m. CST, Thursday, February 9, 2012
Marilyn Bettenhausen, CROP WALK coordinator, presents a check for $823 to Helen Robinson, volunteer pantry coordinator at Latter House Food Pantry.

Fred Koenig is an editor for Missouri Conference Publications of the United Methodist Church.

Columbia organizations that help relieve hunger received a $4,000 boost on January 26.

The money was distributed by the organizers of the Columbia-area CROP WALK. It is a result of the CROP WALK that was held in downtown Columbia last October 2. People from over 20 faith communities walked through downtown Columbia and raised $16,459 to address hunger around the world through Church World Service. Of this money, 25 percent is put to work locally.

Local programs receiving funds this year were Loaves and Fishes Soup Kitchen, $1,646; Russell Chapel Food Pantry, $1,646; and Latter House Food Pantry,

Loaves and Fishes Soup Kitchen serves 40-80 meals each evening, provided by a local church or community group. It is currently located with a day shelter at 616 Park Avenue, but will soon be moving to Wilkes Blvd. United Methodist Church.

Russell Chapel Community Food Pantry at 108 East Ash St. is open on the second and fourth Fridays of each month. It provides groceries for 300-400 people each month, and is staffed by about ten volunteers.

Latter House Kingdom Ministries Food Pantry at 4914 Prairie Ridge St. is open on the first Tuesday and last Saturday of the month. It provides food for about 100 people each month, and pantry volunteers also prepare Buddy Packs at the Food Bank for school children (for weekend meals).

The Pantry has also originated Snack-A-Sacks – a program to help school children with nutrition through the summer.

Church World Service is a cooperative ministry of more than 30 United States denominations and faith groups through which they work to address and eradicate hunger and poverty by providing sustainable self-help and development, disaster relief, and refugee assistance nationally and around the world.

For more information about the CROP WALK, contact Marilyn Bettenhausen, chair, at 442-4002 or e-mail dbettenhausen@centurytel.net. The first planning meeting for the 2012 CROP WALK will be at noon on March 12 at Missouri United Methodist Church, 204 South 9th St.

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