Milford CROP walk is Sunday

MILFORD – People in developing countries typically walk six miles a day, every day, for food, water, fuel, and to take their goods to market.

And on Sunday, May 3, thousands of people all over the world will be walking in solidarity and to raise money to relieve hunger.

Here in the Souhegan Valley the Interfaith CROP Hunger Walk has been stepping off each year since 1989. Funds go toward disaster recovery and to battle hunger, helping local food pantries – Share in Milford and the Open Cupboard Pantry in Wilton – and the rest going to international hunger relief.

Because of the CROP Walk (first known as Christian Rural Overseas Program) 22,000 people in Southeast Asia have gained improved access to food and water, 14,228 refugees from sub-Saharan Africa were resettled to the U.S. in 2014 and $2.5 million in material goods were supplied for disaster victims last year.

The local walk begins at St. Patrick Church, 34 Amherst St., Milford, when between 200 and 300 walkers are expected to step off. But most area churches are involved.

Registration starts at 1 p.m. at the church. The walk begins at 2 p.m. following an opening ceremony. The walk will loop through Amherst and return to Milford, and there are short or longer version of the walk.

The short one is 1.6 miles and the long one 6.2 miles.

New head of walk

Gene Heighton is heading the Souhegan Valley CROP Walk Against Hunger committee this year, taking over from John G. David, who died last year and was the driving force behind the annual Souhegan Valley CROP Walk Against Hunger for many years.

Those interested in walking may contact Heighton, at cptgene@comcast.net for information.

The effort started right after World War II, Heighton said, to help hundreds of thousands of displaced people all over the world.

Millions of dollars worth of support items were sent primarily to Europe, including water and food. Later efforts spread world-wide with wells drilled in Africa for example, and people in South America given better access to food.

Half stays local

About half the money raised locally will go to Share and the Open Cupboard Pantry.

CROP Walk means:

? 22,000 people in Southeast Asia have improved access to food and water.

? 14,228 refugees from sub-Saharan Africa were resettled to the US in 2014.

? $2.5 million in material goods were supplied for disaster victims last year.

? A $50 contribution enables a woman to attend literacy classes and change her life forever.

? A $110 contribution provides emergency food supplies for a family of five for a month.

? $350 enables the eldest in a child-headed household of AIDS orphans to receive vocational training so they can support their siblings and themselves.