The Linfield and McMinnville communities made a collaborative effort to eradicate hunger last weekend.
The 2010 CROP Hunger Walk, sponsored in part by the Linfield College Chaplain’s Team, took place May 1.
“People got sponsors who pledged them a certain amount of money to walk,” senior Katie Cowgill, social justice committee chair for the Chaplain’s Team, said. “The objective was not only to raise money but to raise awareness.”
Oregon is ranked second in hunger, Howie Harkema said to the crowd during a presentation he gave as a part of the pre-walk activities. Harkema is the operations director for the St. Barnabas Soup Kitchen in McMinnville; the organization was a partial sponsor for the CROP Hunger Walk. During the presentation, Harkema said that 1.5 billion people would go to bed hungry that night.
The event brought in 63 walkers. Among them were six Pi Kappa Alpha Fraternity members, Cowgill, sophomores Joanna Peterson and Sarah Korn and junior Tim Wagar of the Chaplain’s Team. Participants chose between a 10K or 2-mile walk that started and ended at Lower City Park.
Pledges for the event totaled $3,455. The Salvation Army Food Bank will receive one-fourth of the funds raised, and the remaining money will be donated to Church World Services International, an organization aimed at the promotion of peace and justice in the world by way of conquering poverty and hunger.
The college has been involved with CROP Hunger Walk in the past, Community Service Coordinator Jessica Wade said. Typically, student volunteers contribute by staffing both the event and a water table station on one of the corners of the walking route. This year, she said, she wanted to facilitate student involvement in a more formal way.
“It’s not just involvement for the sake of involvement,” Wade said. “It’s important to note that, in this economic recession, our community has an increased demand on food pantries and soup kitchens. We have more people across the county experiencing food insecurity — meaning that people have a lack of access to enough food to meet their basic needs on a day-to-day basis.”
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