Madison Area CROP Hunger Walk

In hopes of regaining momentum for the world-wide cause, the annual Madison Area CROP Hunger Walk will be taking place again this year at First Congregational on October 19th. This year marks the 40th year that First Congregational has hosted the Walk. “Around 30 different faith and social communities are involved in the walk each year.” says Jeff Rabe, chair of the CROP Walk. In total, about 300 to 400 people turn out annually to participate in or volunteer for the walk.

Since its creation in 1969 in North Dakota, CROP Walks have raised millions of dollars to provide resources to people in need. Following WWII, Church World Service was started and worked with farmers in the Midwest to gather surplus crops from their farms and send them overseas to countries in Europe that were recovering from the war. Church World Service then went on to sponsor the organization Christian Rural Overseas Program which held the first CROP Hunger Walk

Rabe also says that one of the greatest things about the CROP Walk, is that the proceeds don’t just buy food for those who suffer from hunger, but they also help the community. The funds are sent directly to the areas in need and they then buy food and supplies locally to donate to the impoverished. So not only is the public being fed, but also local businesses benefit.

Last year, the Madison Area CROP Walk raised $38,955 in donations, and in just the last four years has raised over a quarter of a million dollars. Of those donations, 25% of the proceeds went to Dane County food pantries and meal sites. The other 75% went to Church World Services, which distributed those funds around the world where they were needed most.

Spencer Noth-Hazen, a middle school student and member of First Congregational, spoke about his experience in the CROP Walk. “It was a lot of fun.” he recalls, when thinking about the event. Spencer says that he didn’t do any fundraising the last time but would like to participate again and raise money this time. “It’s for a good cause.” he said.

Not only is the CROP Walk for a good cause, but it also simulates what many people have to endure each day. “We walk to try to connect with the people around the world who have to walk very far to get clean water.” says Rabe. “On average, people have to walk 10km to get clean safe water.”

The CROP Walk works with communities to spread awareness about hunger in other parts of the world, and encourages them to work together to aid other countries. Rabe stresses that it is very important to continue doing the CROP Walk and supporting Church World Service in their work across the world. He says that when the walkers take on the three mile course, “[they] walk in solidarity”. 

Check out to offer your support to the First Congregational Church team!


Posted on October 14, 2014 at 10:05 am in Featured Content.

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