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As need grows, CROP Walk struggles to respond

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HUDSON–CROP Walk, an international effort to raise funds to combat hunger both in the communities that raise funds and around the world, will take place in Hudson on the afternoon of Sunday, October 3. The event is sponsored by the Hudson Interfaith Council and a number of local churches, organizations and individuals participate.

In Hudson, the event started in 1984, when 120 people walked. In 1991 250 participants raised $8,000. Last year although only 34 participated walking the four-mile course in Hudson, they got plenty of friends and associates to sponsor them and raised $3,800.

Far more people are involved than just the walkers. “Some would rather pay than walk,” said CROP Walk organizer Jenny Post of the Claverack Dutch Reformed Church. Christ Church Episcopal won the golden sneaker award at last year’s event for having the most walkers, 13. St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Hudson and Mount Pleasant Reformed Church of Greenport also participated.

“CROP Hunger Walks help to provide food and water, as well as resources that empower people to meet their own needs. From seeds and tools, to wells and water systems, to technical training and micro-enterprise loans, the key is people working together to identify their own development priorities, their strengths and their needs,” says the website for the New York City CROP Walk, which is held every spring.  In 2008, says the site, the effort raised $4 million. The funds are distributed by Church World Service, a multi-denominational organization founded in 1946.

“Unfortunately, the event is languishing,” said Ms. Post, who acknowledged that numbers of participants have dropped in recent years, possibly mirroring shrinking church congregations and the economic recession. “The need is as great as it’s ever been, and it would be really nice to respond to that,” said Ms. Post.

“There are a number of ways you can help,” she said.  “You can join the committee to plan the event, become a walker and collect pledges from friends, co-workers and family, or support a walker with your pledge.”

The event starts at 2 p.m. with registration at Christ Church, 431 Union Street, at 1 p.m.

For more information call Jenny Post at 518 851-5950.

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