2020 WALK PLANS
Given the uncertainty in our world and in our community regarding COVID-19 and of an abundance of caution, we have made the decision to significantly modify our traditional gathering for the 45th Erie County CROP Hunger Walk. The safety of our walkers and our community, while at the same time trying to address the increase in hungry people, was fore-most in mind as we planned. We hope that by providing you with notice of the plans now, you and your teams will be able to use the next few months to find creative ways to raise aware-ness and funds in this time of social distancing. While we may be apart physically, together we can still work to stop hunger.

WHAT DOES THIS MEAN FOR ‘WALK DAY’?
We will still promote Sunday, September 27th, as the date for the annual CROP Walk. But the ideas listed here are not meant to be limited to that specific day; instead they could take place anytime in September that best fits the schedule of your group. Here are some options:

WHEN CAN I WALK?
1. Bring your group to the peninsula anytime between 1 and 4 p.m. on September 27th and do your walk. We hope to have several CROP Board members set up somewhere near the Runner’s Paviliion in the Beach 1 parking lot for people to just drive by and have their coordinator check in. We’ll provide some recommended walk routes, but your group is free to chose their own.
2. Have your group gather at a convenient time that same afternoon in your church parking lot and do your own walk through that neighborhood. If you choose this option please encourage your walkers to wear CROP shirts and carry signs so that your friends in that area will understand your commitment to helping those in need.
3. If Sunday the 27th just isn’t the best time for your group, determine what a better one would be. Then schedule your group to walk at whatever time and day and in whatever location seems to make the best sense. Again, we hope you’ll find creative ways to promote the CROP name and the reason for your efforts.
4. If there just doesn’t seem to be a good time that fits everyone’s schedule, simply encourage your walkers to just do it on their own. In past year’s we’ve always had a handful of faithful people who simply couldn’t make it on the scheduled day so they found a friend, solicited sponsors, and went for their own walk.
5. Be creative and find another way to participate and raise funds for CROP.

HOW CAN WE RAISE FUNDS FOR CROP?
Regardless of which option looks best, we hope that every group and individual will continue to raise funds to help address the increasing problem of hunger. There are two primary ways to do that.
1. Donations can be made anytime online by visiting www.crophungerwalk.org/eriepa
If you register for the Erie Walk online you can sign up as an individual or as a Walk team. This will automatically create a personalized donation site that can be shared with your family and friends as well as your entire congregation. Donations can be made online via credit card, debit card, or PayPal. The website also offers you plenty of tools to promote your efforts and raise additional funds.
2. You can again collect cash and checks the traditional way. Envelopes will be made available on Coordinator’s Day (Thursday, August 13th, 4:00 – 6:00 p.m. at Glenwood United Methodist Church). Again, we encourage walkers to invite family, friends, and members of the congregation to support them financially in their efforts.

The United Nations World Food Program (WFP) recently released a report outlining the consequences of the pandemic and highlighted that the number of people facing extreme hunger could double this year unless swift action is taken. Perhaps now more than in any recent year is the time to heed God’s call to care for the ‘least among us.’ Which makes our efforts all the more important.
As a member of the CROP family you know that the funds we raise each year provide meals, seeds, agricultural training, livestock and more to people living in extreme poverty. But social distancing has meant that many CROP Walks scheduled for earlier this year were canceled entirely with the subsequent loss of funds raised. We have the advantage of a fall Walk and we’re hopeful that by working together – creatively, thankfully, faithfully – we can make up some of what was lost and enable CWS/ CROP to continue its work here and around the world. Thanks for your help.

CROP is a mission of Church World Service.  Church World Service is working with partners in the U.S. and around the world to build interfaith and intercultural coalitions to eradicate hunger and poverty and promote peace and justice.  sustainable grassroots development, disaster relief, and refugee assistance.  The Erie Community is proud to be involved in this critical mission that benefits both global and local charities. Sponsor a walker or walk yourself!  25% of the funds received is given back to Erie to distribute to Erie County Food Pantries.