The CROP (Communities Reaching Out to People) Walk has become an
interfaith event. This year is the first time that Armenian-American
churches and the Church of Scientology will participate, said the
retired Rev. Tony Flores of the United Methodist Church. Flores is
organizing the event.
Though interest in the event is growing, he wants more local
churches to participate. When trying to recruit churches for the
program six months ago, he met some resistance. Many churches, he
said, support their own hunger walks, and others do not give reasons
why they decline to participate.
"People are really up against hunger all over the world and in the
United States," Flores said. "The world population is always
increasing and what we do isn't a lot, but it helps."
Since it was started 25 years ago by members of the Church of the
Brethren in Bismarck, N.D., more than 2,000 CROP walks have been
organized nationwide, including 30 in Arizona and California, Flores
Glendale's CROP walk has raised more than $100,000 since it began
in 1994, and almost $20,000 each of the past three years.
A quarter of the money raised from the walk benefits five hunger
programs in Glendale, including Loaves and Fishes, Glendale Community
College's Food for Thought, the Adventist Food Pantry and the
Salvation Army's food programs. The remaining 75% is sent to Church
World Services, CROP's national headquarters in Elkhart, Ind., to
fund programs in more than 80 countries.
"This is a good cause. You feel like you are doing something not
just for people in our country, but people everywhere," said Pat
Price, a member of the Church of the Brethren in Glendale who has
participated in the walk for four years. This year she will sell
T-shirts and her husband will drive the van for people who cannot
complete the walk.
To walk in the event, or to make a donation, call 243-2105.