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Steps for the hungry: local CROP Hunger Walk to raise funds for food

  • Written by Kirsten Abel, Features Writer

The Woodinville CROP Hunger Walk, now in its third year, takes place on Saturday, June 3, 2017. The walk spans three miles and starts and ends at the Carol Edwards Center.

Of the funds raised before and during the walk, 25 percent will go to the YMCA summer lunch program and to the Maltby Food Bank. The remaining 75 percent will go back to the walk’s main sponsor, Church World Service, which will donate the money to vetted humanitarian organizations around the world.

Crop WalkVolunteers help register walkers at last year’s CROP Hunger Walk (Photo courtesy of Woodinville CROP Hunger Walk)The event started in the area when the Woodinville Interfaith Network for Social Justice, made up of several Northshore area churches, came together to decide on a common social justice issue they could tackle together. The issue they decided upon was hunger.

“We feel that is one of the greatest injustices and that we should be able to eradicate it since there is so much abundance in the world,” said Lin Hagedorn, who is the informal chair of the Woodinville Interfaith Network for Social Justice, although she said it is a “team effort” kind of organization.

The Woodinville CROP Hunger Walk is part of a network of nation-wide hunger walks sponsored by Church World Service. The first event took place in 1969. According to the Church World Service website, a thousand walks across the country raised about $10 million just last year.

In Woodinville, other local event sponsors include The Commons in Redmond, 21 Acres, Chipotle and Woodinville Bicycle.

Walkers are encouraged to bring signs, form teams or wear company logos as a sign of support. Participants can walk and not donate, donate and not walk, or do both.

“We’re here to help one another and others that we can’t see and that we can’t touch,” said Hagedorn.

Woodinville’s first walk saw 70 participants and raised about $6,500. The second year, 58 people walked and about $2,800 was raised. Hagedorn is hoping for at least 100 participants this year and at least $6,500 in donations.

“Last year we had some individuals who came up to some walkers on the walk and donated in the moment,” she said. “I think our community really loves coming together to help one another.”

The YMCA summer lunch program provides free lunches and snacks to kids when access to schools’ free and reduced-price meals is no longer available.

The Maltby Food Bank operates client hours on Thursday afternoons between 1 p.m. and 5 p.m.

“We have heard and know that food banks really struggle to meet the needs of those people making requests,” Hagedorn said. “We also really admire the YMCA summer lunch program for providing food for kids during the summer when maybe other programs aren’t up and running.”

One of the walk’s sponsors, Chipotle, will also be directing an additional fundraiser on June 3. Anyone who eats at the restaurant between 10:45 a.m. and 5 p.m. can indicate that they support the Woodinville CROP Hunger Walk and Chipotle will donate half of the cost of their meal to the event.

To donate to or find out more about the Woodinville CROP Hunger Walk, visit www.crophungerwalk.org/woodinvillewa.

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