Walk, donate to help feed our neighbors

MIDDLEBURY — When people around the country think of Vermont, they likely think of maple syrup, hiking, fall foliage, skiing, and big red barns with cows in the nearby pasture. But maybe they should think of hundreds of neighbors coming together to raise awareness and funds to fight hunger at home and around the globe.
The 41st annual Addison County CROP Hunger Walk will take place on Sunday, Sept. 30. Registration starts at noon on the Middlebury Town Green, and the walk gets underway at 1 p.m. Middlebury College President Laurie Patton will speak.
The annual CROP Hunger Walk is a program sponsored and supported by local congregations, businesses, schools, sports teams, and individuals in partnership with Church World Service, an international relief, development and refugee resettlement agency. Twenty-five percent of funds raised go to our own local food shelves.
In 2017 walkers raised $27,859, up from the previous year’s total of $24,298.
When it comes to fighting hunger and responding to disasters, the globally minded citizens of towns and villages in Addison County are punching way above their weight class. The walk has been listed in the Cream of the Crop top 100 walks nationwide for the last three years. Of close to a thousand walks nationwide, Addison County’s walk ranked 82nd in total amount of funds raised. That is ahead of such populous and affluent places like Berkeley, Ca.; Omaha, Neb.; Milwaukee, Wis.; and Martha’s Vineyard, Mass.
Church World Service is often the first agency on the ground after disasters like the recent hurricanes, floods, and earthquakes because they already have created local partnerships around the world. Truckloads of blankets, health kits, flood buckets, baby and school kits are also assembled by volunteers throughout the United States and then delivered to warehouses to be available the moment people are displaced or in danger from natural or conflict-created tragedies.
Consider joining up with friends who will be walking rain or shine. The route is accessible (on paved roads and sidewalks in town), encompassing Buttolph Acres, downtown, and the Middlebury College Campus. The camaraderie makes for a lovely walk and you feel good knowing that 25 percent of the donations stay in Addison County. The CROP Hunger Walk donates to seven local food shelves, making a significant difference in the lives of families across the county.
If you would like to register to walk or to sponsor the walkers, it’s easy in person or online. Contact Co-Chair Patty Hallam at 802-388-1561 or enter your zip code on the secure CROP Walk website, crophungerwalk.org. There you can look up friends and teams you wish to support. The website remains active after the walk and your generosity will go the distance — just like our walkers.

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