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SUBMITTED PHOTO People take part in last year’s CROP Hunger Walk.

Photo: N/A, License: N/A

SUBMITTED PHOTO Walkers prepare to step off at last year’s walk.

About 130 walkers raised $7,300 at last year’s Abington Area CROP Hunger Walk.

This year, they’re hoping to go bigger: 200 walkers and $10,000.

This year’s event is slated for April 28 at 2 p.m. at the Dalton Fire Company, 109 S. Turnpike Road. CROP Hunger Walks are held nationwide. People raise money ahead of participating in the three-mile walk, which symbolizes the distance people in some parts of the world must travel for food and clean water.

A hunger walk previously held in the Abington area was dormant for about 30 years, said the Rev. Michelle Whitlock, pastor at Waverly United Methodist Church. The Abington Ecumenical Ministerium revived the event last year.

“We were talking among the different pastors in the churches for a way to engage the whole community,” Whitlock said. “It seemed like a good fit.”

Last year’s sponsors included Geisinger, the Rotary Club of the Abingtons, Young’s Funeral Home, Weis Market and Gerrity’s Supermarkets, said Sue Youtz of Countryside Community Church in Newton Township. This year, sponsors such as First Presbyterian Church of Clarks Summit, Scranton Label and Eckel Farms already signed on.

A quarter of the funds raised stay in the area to support local hunger and poverty fighting programs. This year’s walk will support the work of local food programs.

The remaining money is used by Church World Service, the organizer of the hunger walk program, to alleviate hunger in poor communities throughout the world. Money raised helps families in the United States and around the world who are victims of disasters like Hurricane Sandy, the earthquake in Haiti and refugees fleeing war or famine. The group also supports projects such as agricultural training, health clinics, micro-businesses, schools and fresh water wells in the world’s poorest communities.

Last year, hunger walks raised more than $8.3 million, according to CROP Hunger Walk website.

To learn more about CROP Hunger Walks or to sign up for the Abington Area CROP Hunger Walk, visit crophungerwalk.org/clarkssummitpa. There is no fee to participate, but each walker is encouraged to raise $100 or more through pledges from family members, friends and others.

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Fighting local hunger

Waverly United Methodist Church is also the home of the Waverly Community Garden, the bounty of which are donated to organizations like the Keystone Rescue Mission Alliance, the Women’s Resource Center and food and senior centers.

Organizers are looking for experienced gardeners to help train volunteers to care for the garden this year, the Rev. Michelle Whitlock said. Anyone who’d like to help out should call Whitlock at 717-578-0436 or email mwhitlock@susumc.org.

— Clayton Over

Abington Area Crop Hunger Walk

When: Sunday, April 28, sign in time is 1:30 p.m. and walk time is 2 p.m.

Where: Start and finish at Dalton Fire Company, 109 S. Turnpike Road, Dalton

Walk distance: 3.5 Miles

Cost: there is no fee to participate, but each walker is encouraged to raise $100 or more.

For more info: visit crophungerwalk.org/clarkssummitpa or email Karen Rickaby at kdavis75@hotmail.com.