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Columbia Missourian

Walk brings community together to fight hunger

By Tess Catlett
October 6, 2013 | 7:15 p.m. CDT
More than 150 people ran and walked in the 2013 Communities Responding to Overcome Poverty 5K on Sunday to spread awareness of hunger issues both in Columbia and on a global scale. By the end of the afternoon, participants had raised more than $4,000.

*CORRECTION: An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated the name of the food pantry where Bill Poore volunteers.

COLUMBIA — Fighting hunger is a family affair for Bill and Shirlee Poore.

But the couple weren't alone in their march against hunger at the CROP Hunger Walk on Sunday afternoon.

CROP, or Communities Responding to Overcome Poverty, is part of Church World Service's mission to end hunger within individual communities and in other parts of the world.

More than 150 people participated in this year's walk and run, according to Brad Boyd-Kennedy, the walk's co-coordinator. The walk began at 2 p.m. Sunday at Missouri United Methodist Church.

Clad in a World War II veteran's hat and an amiable smile, Bill Poore said he has "marched" in the CROP Hunger Walk every year since 2004 because the need for food in other countries is so great. But Columbia also has its own hunger problems, he said.

Outside of the walk, Bill Poore regularly volunteers at the Food Bank for Central and Northeast Missouri* , a "big operation," that his church, Fairview Community of Christ, is involved with..

The church raised more than $1,000 for the walk, the Poores' daughter Karla Malaney said. She was one of several family members to join the Poores on Sunday.

The Columbia walk raised more than $4,000 by Sunday afternoon, according to the CROP Hunger Walk's website.

Contributions will continue to trickle in throughout the month of October, Boyd-Kennedy said, and donations will be accepted until Nov. 1.

"Whatever people feel they are able to give is more than we had yesterday," Boyd-Kennedy said.

Twenty-five percent of funds raised will be divided among four local efforts to fight hunger, including Loaves and Fishes Soup Kitchen, the Russell Chapel Food Pantry, the Latter House Kingdom Ministries Food Pantry and the Fifth Street Christian Church's Feed the Community program.

"They use the funds directly for the people they serve," said Boyd-Kennedy. "This has a big impact on the local community."

The remaining 75 percent will go toward Church World Service and will be distributed among efforts to fight hunger around the world.

Melanie Turner is another repeat participant at the hunger walk. This was the 15-year-old's third year walking with her family, and she was joined by her sister Tiffany Turner and her mother, Fay Comley, along with three of the family's dogs.

Maggie, Daisy and Meisa — all chihuahuas — are Comley's service dogs and were adorned in pink sweaters for the walk.

"She gets anxiety around crowds, and the dogs keep her calm," Melanie Turner said. The family participated as part of a church activity and wanted to come out and support the community.

And, like Bill and Shirlee Poore, Melanie Turner enjoyed making the fight against hunger a family affair.

Supervising editor is Edward Hart.