Gorge Crop Walk returns Oct. 7 in HR

Individuals, churches, youth groups and service organizations are invited to participate in the annual Columbia Gorge Crop Walk against hunger Oct. 7.

Registration begins at 9:30 a.m. at Hood River Valley Christian Church, 975 Indian Creek Road.

The walk begins at 10 a.m. Most walkers return by 12:30 p.m.

This will be the 29th year that Columbia Gorge teams have raised money and awareness in the fight against hunger, locally and globally, according to a press release.

The national Crop Walk website says, “Stand with neighbors in your community who rely on food assistance programs. Partner with parents worldwide as they ensure a bright future for their children. Support those struggling in the face of grinding poverty and open up new doors of opportunity for them.”

In 2016, Crop Walkers raised $8,500; this year’s goal is $10,000.

Information packets, registration forms and pledge forms are available by contacting Hood River Valley Christian Church at 541-386-2608. Walkers are encouraged to set a fundraising goal of $125, but any amount is welcome.

Also, walkers can bring in non-perishable food items in lieu of pledges. Food donations will go to Cascade Locks to assist people who have been affected by the Eagle Creek Fire.

Walkers can choose a one mile, “out and back” walk with no elevation change, a 5K route through the Heights to May Street and back to the church, or a 10K route that follows May Street to the west before looping back to the church. There is also a family-friendly, easy to moderate route that starts and ends at Hood River Valley Christian Church — kids in strollers and older folks who use walkers have all been able to enjoy the walk. Please no bikes as per the Crop Walk mantra, “We walk because they walk,” in support of those who struggle with hunger and other issues of poverty.

As per tradition, a friendly competition among CROP Walk teams will happen again this year. All teams compete for the Golden Sneaker Award, given to the team with the most walkers. Teams who bring in the highest monetary totals are also recognized.

CROP Hunger Walks started in 1969, sponsored by Church World Service and organized in communities worldwide. The local walk is sponsored by Gorge Ecumenical Ministries. For more information about CROP visit www.crophungerwalk.org.

Seventy-five percent of funds are donated to hunger projects around the world; 25 percent is shared between FISH Food Bank in Hood River County and the Washington Gorge Action Program (WGAP) Food Bank in White Salmon. Reaching the $10,000 goal would mean $2,500 to split between the two organizations.

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