Moorestown is once again doing its part to end world hunger one step at a time with the annual Moorestown CROP Walk.
CROP Hunger Walks are events in which money is raised to combat world hunger through participants walking one-, three- or five-mile distances to simulate the distances in which disadvantaged people must walk in some countries for clean water and food. Moorestown will be holding its annual CROP Walk on Sunday, May 1 at 1:30 p.m.
“Hunger in the world is still a problem … (The CROP Walk) represents a joint effort of people who care about their fellow man. We look forward to it each year,” Mae Trebing, Moorestown CROP Walk coordinator, said.
This annual event has been held in Moorestown for more than four decades. According to Church World Service, a joint Christian ministry of 37 denominations and coordinators of CROP Walks, more than 2,000 communities in the United States come together for more than 1,600 CROP Hunger Walks each year.
“Some people have to walk miles to get water or food, and sometimes children have to do the walk. We walk because they walk,” Trebing said.
Walkers will sign in beginning at 1 p.m. and leave from the Saint Matthew’s Lutheran Church promptly at 1:30 p.m. Water and bathroom facilities will be available at checkpoints along the walk, and there will be refreshments for the walkers when they return to St. Matthew’s Church. The five-mile scenic course will run through Moorestown and back to St. Matthew’s Church, and optional three-mile and one-mile routes will be available for individuals who prefer a shorter course.
“It feels good. We start out with a prayer at the church and then start the walk. Hopefully it will be a beautiful day,” Trebing said.
Since 1974, the Moorestown event has raised almost $570,000, with nearly $139,000 given to support hunger-related programs in Moorestown through local food pantries at Saint Matthew’s, Moorestown First Baptist and Bethel A.M.E., according to Trebing. Last year, Moorestown raised about $12,000, and Trebing hopes that just as much is raised this year.
In addition to providing emergency food supplies and hunger relief, CROP Walk funds also pay for resources that help enable people to meet their own needs such as seeds, agricultural tools, wells and water systems, technical training and micro-enterprise loans.
Those interested in participating are encouraged to sign up before the day of the walk by contacting one of the Moorestown congregations sponsoring the event — Trinity Episcopal, First United Methodist, First Baptist, First Presbyterian, St. Matthew’s Lutheran, Bethel A.M.E or Friends Meeting. Walkers can also sign up online at www.crophungerwalk.org/ moorestownnj, where they can donate money as well.
For those who can’t participate, they can donate money to sponsor a specific walker or learn of other ways to get involved with the event also at the website.
“If you walk, great, if you can’t you can always give,” Trebing said.
The St. Matthew’s Lutheran Church is located at 318 Chester Ave. in Moorestown.