Crop Walk aids hungry, poor

By Peggy Keslin

More than 200 NIU students and DeKalb residents will participate in a 10K walk across campus on Sunday at 2 p.m.

The annual Crop Walk, sponsored by Church World Services, is a nationwide effort to aid in the fight against hunger and poverty.

The Crop Walk is connected in part with the World Food Day Teleconference, which will take place in room 405 of the Holmes Student Center from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. today.

Alpha Phi Omega service fraternity members and Stevenson Towers South residents have volunteered to participate.

Alpha Phi Omega, the oldest fraternity at NIU, has taken part in the walk for the past several years.

“We should have about 15 members out this year,” said Richard Christian, Alpha Phi Omega’s service vice president.

Sondra King, a member of several DeKalb food agencies and an NIU professor, said there is more of a hunger problem in the immediate DeKalb area than most people realize.

“One fourth of the money generated by the walk will come back to the DeKalb area,” she said.

Church World Services will receive 75 percent of the funds raised. The remaining 25 percent will be donated to DeKalb Food Pantry and Feed Our Older DeKalb (FOOD).

Crop Walk Chairman Carroll Varner said the Food Pantry feeds more than 500 people monthly, and about 80,000 meals were distributed in DeKalb alone last year.

“Programs like the Food Pantry and FOOD not only provide an invaluable service to the area, but they also foster a great sense of community,” said Varner.

Varner said, “Church World Services represents all different denominations and deals primarily with food related problems.”

The walkers will start out at the First Congregational Church on North First Street and then travel through campus.

Participants are responsible for getting pledges for each kilometer they walk, said Christian.

Last year the walk raised $15 million nationally, he said.