According to Donna Kreutziger of Marion and Darlene Bartel of Hillsboro, both coordinators, this year’s event was successful.
“Hillsboro and Marion had totals of 37 walkers and raised $1,289, plus more money will be coming in,” Kreutziger said.
Five churches from the Marion area collected $789, with Aulne United Methodist Church having 18 walkers and raising the most money at $459.
“Hillsboro, because of illness hitting the area, was down in the number of walkers, but still had 15 people raising almost $500 so far,” she said.
The reason participants walk, Kreutziger said, is to symbolize how hungry people in developing countries will walk as much as six times a day to get food, water and the fuel they need to get their goods to market.
CROP Walks are a grassroots effort supporting the overall ministry of Church World Service.
Thanks to people in Marion County and around the world, people in more than 80 countries have help to meet their basic needs.
The money collected from these walks not only feeds the hungry, but also provides seeds, tools, help with water systems and even loans, according to officials.
Senior citizens make up 16.5 percent of all emergency food pantry clients, 17 percent of all soup kitchen clients, 4 percent of all emergency shelter clients and 17.5 percent of the clients served by other non-congregate feeding programs such as Meals on Wheels.
What makes this event special is that it’s both community and interfaith-based.
In addition to the worldwide impact, each local CROP Walk can choose to give 25 percent of what it raises to help families at the food banks in both Marion and Hillsboro.
“We walk in solidarity with their struggle for existence,” Kreutziger said of the world’s hungry. “Come rain or shine, and even in the Kansas winds, we walk because they walk.”