FROM READERS: Columbia CROP Hunger Walk aims to overcome hunger

Saturday, October 6, 2012 | 6:00 a.m. CDT; updated 9:14 a.m. CDT, Saturday, October 6, 2012

Cleo Kottwitz is involved with the Columbia CROP Hunger Walk. If you are interested in participating the event, or if you sponsoring someone who is, you can contact Brad Boyd Kennedy at Columbia United Church of Christ at 445-7931 or via email at

An estimated 200 participants from more than 20 faith groups are expected to gather at Missouri United Methodist Church at Ninth and Locust streets on Sunday afternoon, Oct. 7, for the annual Columbia CROP Hunger Walk. For the first time, in addition to the 1.5 mile walk around downtown Columbia, there will be a 5K Run on the MKT Trail. Time to "step off the curb" is at 2 p.m.; registration begins at 1 p.m.

The goal of the Walk/Run is to raise $20,000 to overcome hunger in Columbia and around the world. Twenty-five percent of funds raised are designated for these local agencies: Loaves and Fishes Soup Kitchen, Russell Chapel Christian Methodist Episcopal Food Pantry, Latter House Kingdom Ministries Food Pantry, and Fifth Street Christian (DOC) Community Meal. Seventy-five percent of the funds are designated for worldwide ministries of the Church World Service, including the ministries in the U.S. such as Joplin, Mo., and areas affected by the recent hurricane, Isaac.

CROP began in 1947 as the Christian Rural Overseas Program, and was primarily a means of shipping grain from rural churches and communities to the starving populations resulting from the destruction of World War II.  Through the years the program has often been termed "the community hunger appeal of Church World Service," and the emphasis is to  empower communities to become self sufficient in food production and other needs.  In the early 70s CROP was the first organization to do "walks" to raise funds;  many other organizations have followed in their foot steps.  CROP is now known as "Communities Responding to Overcome Poverty."

This story is part of a section of the Missourian called From Readers, which is dedicated to your voices and your stories. We hope you'll consider sharing. Here's how. Supervising editor is Joy Mayer.

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