Taking a stroll for hunger

HANCOCK – Copper Country residents joined groups around the country for a walk dedicated to combatting hunger, poverty and related issues.

The 23rd annual Copper Country CROP (Communities Responding to Overcome Poverty) Walk took place Sunday. Walkers traversed about 4 miles round-trip between Little Brothers Friends of the Elderly in Hancock and Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in Houghton. They ranged from a 90-year-old to children being pushed in strollers.

“Its purpose is to help Church World Service help communities with their food banks,” said Chuck Williams of Grace United Methodist Church in Houghton. “It also deals with other kinds of issues – fresh water, for example, in some areas of the world where they can’t get that – and helps them start to help themselves and get out of those kinds of situations.”

CROP, which was founded in 1947, started to help Midwest farm families share grain with depressed areas in Europe and Asia. The program’s goals have been extended to raising awareness of issues such as water access, trade, human rights, climate change and peace building.

The Crop Walks have grown to include more than 2,000 communities across the country.

Money raised by walkers goes to education and advocacy efforts; direct aid to refugees, immigrants and asylum seekers; and tools such as water systems and microloans. Twenty-five percent of money raised by the walk stays in the Copper Country, going to groups including the Salvation Army, Little Brothers Friends of the Elderly and the food pantry of the Gloria Dei Lutheran Church in Hancock.

“People can raise money however they want – they can do it online, they can ask people in their churches or community, have them sponsor them for the walk, or just pay and walk,” Williams said. “Some people may not raise any money, and they walk to raise awareness.”

Patty Thompson, a fourth-year civil engineering major at Michigan Technological University, has walked in the Copper Country all four years. Before college, she’d been participating back home since she was an infant.

“It’s a really good way to raise awareness that it’s not only in other places that there’s people who are hungry, people who don’t have what a lot of us have,” she said, adding that it also draws attention to what many people in areas without access to potable water sources go through.

“…Part of the reason why we walk is because in developing nations, people may have to walk for miles to get water, and even then it may not be clean water,” she said.

Linda Ward of Duncan estimates she’s gone to at least 12 CROP Walks.

“It’s something all the churches get together to do,” she said.

Taking a stroll for hunger

HANCOCK – Copper Country residents joined groups around the country for a walk dedicated to combatting hunger, poverty and related issues.

The 23rd annual Copper Country CROP (Communities Responding to Overcome Poverty) Walk took place Sunday. Walkers traversed about 4 miles round-trip between Little Brothers Friends of the Elderly in Hancock and Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in Houghton. They ranged from a 90-year-old to children being pushed in strollers.

“Its purpose is to help Church World Service help communities with their food banks,” said Chuck Williams of Grace United Methodist Church in Houghton. “It also deals with other kinds of issues – fresh water, for example, in some areas of the world where they can’t get that – and helps them start to help themselves and get out of those kinds of situations.”

CROP, which was founded in 1947, started to help Midwest farm families share grain with depressed areas in Europe and Asia. The program’s goals have been extended to raising awareness of issues such as water access, trade, human rights, climate change and peace building.

The Crop Walks have grown to include more than 2,000 communities across the country.

Money raised by walkers goes to education and advocacy efforts; direct aid to refugees, immigrants and asylum seekers; and tools such as water systems and microloans. Twenty-five percent of money raised by the walk stays in the Copper Country, going to groups including the Salvation Army, Little Brothers Friends of the Elderly and the food pantry of the Gloria Dei Lutheran Church in Hancock.

“People can raise money however they want – they can do it online, they can ask people in their churches or community, have them sponsor them for the walk, or just pay and walk,” Williams said. “Some people may not raise any money, and they walk to raise awareness.”

Patty Thompson, a fourth-year civil engineering major at Michigan Technological University, has walked in the Copper Country all four years. Before college, she’d been participating back home since she was an infant.

“It’s a really good way to raise awareness that it’s not only in other places that there’s people who are hungry, people who don’t have what a lot of us have,” she said, adding that it also draws attention to what many people in areas without access to potable water sources go through.

“…Part of the reason why we walk is because in developing nations, people may have to walk for miles to get water, and even then it may not be clean water,” she said.

Linda Ward of Duncan estimates she’s gone to at least 12 CROP Walks.

“It’s something all the churches get together to do,” she said.