On Centre: Around Bellefonte | CROP walk works to raise money to fight hunger

The Bellefonte community is continuing to take a stand against hunger.

Next month, Faith United Methodist Church, working under the umbrella of the Church World Service, will hold the annual CROP hunger walk. Registration starts at 1 p.m. Oct. 20, and the more than 3-mile walk that circles around the town begins at 2 p.m.

Each walker is asked to get sponsorships and raise money for the cause. All money will be sent to the Church World Service, and about 25 percent will be returned to the community, said Karin Lowry, a local event coordinator in Bellefonte.

“CROP is taking a stand against hunger by walking for the hungry,” she said.

The organizing team is made up of representatives from several area churches and organizations.

This year’s event will focus specifically on water. She said in poorer countries, people have to walk long distances to get water, so they will walk locally to raise awareness for that problem.

There is no minimum that each participant needs to raise, but each person is also asked to bring along a nonperishable food item. The money that comes back to the community will be distributed among the FaithCentre, the Bellefonte Lunch Program, the Bellefonte Youth Center, and the food banks in Milesburg and Pleasant Gap.

Participation fluctuates from year to year, Lowry said, but the event has raised as much as $16,000 in a single year in the past and the organizers are hoping for a strong showing this year.

The importance of the event is always emphasized as the local hunger problems grow and more people look to the food banks for help.

But Lowry said people always seem willing to help.

“People see the need and they want to step up,” she said.

Though the event is affiliated with the church, Lowry said people don’t have to be members of the church to participate or donate.

Walkers of all ages are encouraged to participate, but anyone younger than 18 must get a signed permission form from a parent or guardian, she said.

Anyone wishing to sign up, donate or get a sponsorship form should contact Lowry at 574-2304 or by email at