Westmoreland CROP Hunger Walks aim to fight local, global poverty


Volunteers and community residents interested in helping others will gather in Murrysville and Penn Township next month to take part in the annual CROP Hunger Walk.

“CROP” stands for “Communities Responding to Overcome Poverty” and donations from thousands of walks across the country are donated between local pantries and the World Church Service, a non-profit organization founded shortly after World War II that works to feed the hungry and help the needy.

This year it will be the 42nd Enter CROP Murrysville, although organizer Roger Schneider said last year his group, like so many others, had been forced to take a virtual walk because of the pandemic.

“In our church and so many others we didn’t do anything personally and I thought it would be a disaster,” said Schneider.

Instead, they had their best year yet, raising around $ 11,000 and nearly doubling their previous high of $ 6,700.

“We were using a secure donation website, and they really encouraged everyone to join in on social media and set up things like Facebook fundraisers,” Schneider said. “I was really surprised.”

This year’s Murrysville CROP Hunger Walk will take place on October 10th. Walkers meet at Calvary Lutheran Church, 4725 Old William Penn Highway, at around 1 p.m. before walking down to the First Presbyterian Church and back again.

Due to ongoing Covid-19 concerns, everything will be outdoors this year.

“We do all of our registrations online in advance,” said Schneider. “And where in previous years we usually had an event with food in the social hall, we just try to keep it as safe as possible.”

The same goes for Rev. John Titus of the First United Church of Christ and other organizers of the 21st Penn Trafford CROP Hunger Walk. They didn’t hold a virtual event in 2020, but will take them on board as an option on their October 17th walk this year.

“It’s an opportunity to give back both locally and globally,” said Titus. “Church world ministry is particularly helpful with developing countries struggling with sustainability or safe drinking water. But they have also responded to recent disasters such as the Haiti earthquake and the humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan. “

On site, 25% of the proceeds from the events go to local pantries. In Murrysville, it is split between the bread and fish pantry operated by the Newlonsburg Presbyterian Church and the two distribution locations of the Westmoreland County Food Bank in Murrysville.

In Penn Township and Trafford, it is split between the Trafford Food Bank and the St. Barbara Parish Food Bank.

The Penn Trafford Walk takes place on the Bushy Run Battlefield, 1253 Bushy Run Road in Penn Township.

“We have a future Church 230 Eagle Scout, Bryce Little, who is helping with the promotion, setting up the course at Bushy Run, and distributing water and guiding people as part of his Eagle Project,” said Titus.

Registration for the Penn Trafford Walk begins at 1:30 p.m. and the walk begins at 2 p.m. with a 3.5 mile walk, a shorter version, and the virtual walk.

Schneider said he hoped for the same generosity donors show in 2020.

“People have been so generous because they knew that a lot of people are hurt these days,” he said.

More than 2,000 teams across Germany have registered for the CROP Hunger Walks. For more information, see Events.CropHungerWalk.org/2021.

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