Catholic Diocese of Spokane, Washington

From the

Official News Magazine of the Diocese of Spokane

Deacon Eric Meisfjord, Editor
P.O. Box 48, Spokane WA 99210
(509) 358-7340; FAX: (509) 358-7302

CROP Walk funds battle against hunger locally, globally

the Inland Register

(From the April 12, 2007 edition of the Inland Register)

The 2007 Spokane CROP (Christian Rural Overseas Program) Hunger Walk, a hunger-awareness and fundraising project of Church World Service and the Interfaith Council of the Inland Northwest, will begin at 1:30 p.m. on Sunday, April 29, at Gonzaga University’s Martin Centre, and continue 10-K and 2-K along the Centennial Trail.

The Spokane effort is one of 2,000 CROP walks that take place across the United States, raising money and awareness to fight hunger, both locally and globally.

Walkers are asked to bring donations of non-perishable food for Second Harvest Inland Northwest.

Registration and entertainment will begin at noon, with a performance by The Voiceless, a choir whose members are homeless and previously homeless families, directed by Michael Rice-Sauer. Lynn Magnuson, Regional Director of Church World Service, for Washington, Oregon, Idaho, and Alaska, will be the guest speaker.

The 2006 Spokane CROP walk raised $30,412, for a total of $532,775 since 1979.

Twenty-five percent of all funds raised remain in the Spokane area, benefiting such agencies as Second Harvest Inland Northwest, Interfaith Hospitality Network of Spokane, Mid-City Concerns Meals on Wheels, and Spokane Valley Meals on Wheels. Each of the local organizations received $1,883 last year.

Seventy-five percent of the funds will be distributed throughout more than 50 countries by Church World Service, aiding hunger relief and education.

In 2006 Second Harvest Inland Northwest distributed 14.3 million pounds of food to more than 300 partner charities that feed 48,000 people per week. They provide $10 worth of food for every $1 donated.

In the Annual Client Survey, families and individuals explained the choices they must make, sometimes on a daily basis, between eating and other necessities. A recent car accident made it tough for one family to keep their heads above water. The client, a college educated man in his 50s, went without food daily so his children could eat.

The Interfaith Hospitality Network of Spokane, an ecumenical network of 10 host churches and 19 support churches, opened in March 1997. It has served 257 homeless families, providing safe shelter, food, care and wrap-around social services to help them jump start their return to independence, said Kathie Bonner-Walsh, Executive Director. Proceeds from the walk will be used to purchase Safeway Gift Cards for clients who move into rental units.

The Meals on Wheels programs help senior citizens and disabled persons live independently in their own homes, at a cost of approximately $1,000 per person annually, rather than requiring several thousand dollars of nursing home care per month.

In 2006 approximately 72,000 meals were delivered to about 450 homebound clients by volunteers for Spokane Valley Meals on Wheels. Approximately 20,000 additional meals were served to 150 clients in the senior lunch program at three congregate sites.

“It’s more than just a meal – the social connection they have with somebody, as well as checking on their well-being,” said Pam Almeida, Executive Director, of the non-profit organization.

Last year 86,000 weekday meals were delivered by 657 Mid-City Concerns Meals on Wheels volunteers. An additional 12,000 lunches and 2,166 breakfasts were served by the Mid-City Concerns Senior Center.

Church World Service, a cooperative ministry or 35 Protestant, Orthodox, and Anglican denominations, working to eradicate hunger and poverty, providing sustainable self-help and development, disaster relief, and refugee assistance in more than 80 countries, observed their 60th anniversary in 2006.

Millions of people join in or support CROP Walks each year because millions of people around the world have to walk just to survive. Last year walkers, volunteers, and sponsors raised more than $15 million. More than $3.6 million was shared with local food banks, pantries, and community gardens.

For information, to walk, or sponsor a CROP Walker, call 326-5656. Donations may also be made online at

Corporate sponsors of the 2007 CROP Walk include Greenstone Homes and Neighborhoods, Gonzaga University, and Arby’s Restaurants.

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