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Residents walk around Spring Lake to raise awareness about hunger

Becky Vargo • Oct 2, 2017 at 8:00 AM

Lots of last-minute participants swelled the ranks of area residents walking to raise funds and awareness of the hunger problems locally and throughout the world.

More than 250 men, women and children participated in the 43rd Annual Tri-Cities CROP Hunger Walk that started at the Spring Lake Christian Reformed Church early Sunday afternoon.

Committee member Tracy Wood said there were new churches represented this year as well as a lot of new faces. The guessed that the $50 match for anyone raising more than $100 was a good incentive too, based on how many people brought in more than $100 for the event.

The walkers sipped on a chicken broth soup - so they would know what kind of meal might be eaten by impoverished people - before heading out on the streets of Spring Lake Village.

Trenton Blanchard carried two gallons of water during the three-mile walk “because they have to carry their own water,” he said.

Danielle Bolthouse was hoping to make the shorter route with her great nephews Karter and Kolten Karlsons.

Bolthouse said she was participating “to bring awareness for world hunger and to let people know it’s not just in other countries, but in the Tri-Cities as well.”

Wood said that volunteers would be counting up the money over the next few days to see if they brought in more than the $55,000 raised locally last year.

Seventy-five percent of the funds go to the Church World Service. When it began in 1947, C.R.O.P. was an acronym for the Christian Rural Overseas Program, which held as its primary mission to help Midwest farm families share their grain with hungry neighbors in post-World War II Europe.

Twenty-five percent of the money raised stays locally, with distributions planned for The Salvation Army, The People Center and Love in Action.

CROP Walk team leader Blair Miller said the event was a success.

“I’m always pleased with whoever shows up and wants to put a foot forward to help out,” he said.

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