By Cheryl Petersen Contributing Writer
The Daily Star
---- — Joining 160,000 walkers around the country to help end hunger, locals from the Delhi area walked to raise funds on Sunday during the annual CROP Hunger Walk. Sponsors paid for each mile covered.
“Of the proceeds, 75 percent will go to the CROP Walk fund hosted through Church World Service, and 25 percent will go to the Delaware County Food Bank,” said Edie Campbell, member of United Ministry Church in Delhi and chairwomen of the walk.
“This is the 30th year United Ministry, and other regional churches, have been contributing” to the nationwide effort, said Edie Campbell. “A total of $135,248 has been raised. This year, another $5,500 is anticipated.”
The CROP Walk program got its start around 1947. Originally conceived as the Christian Rural Overseas Program, CROP’s mission has expanded out of primarily sharing food from Midwest farm families to help feed European post-World War II neighbors, into a mission that now strives to feed the world.
“The CROP Walk funds also (allow) assistance during disasters and to provide clean water worldwide,” said Campbell.
Boy Scout Troop No. 33 came in force for the first time to walk. SUNY Delhi students also carried a significant presence. Among other organizations from the college, members from Upsilon Delta Epsilon participated in the CROP Walk.
Nearby churches, and from as far away as Bovina, supported the event. Sarah Hooker, pastor of Delhi First Presbyterian, said, “When growing up, I walked for CROP, now I brought my husband, Chris, and son, Eli.” Eli was sleeping peacefully in a stroller. “I think it’s important we experience awareness. Some people have to walk far to get food,” added Hooker.
Registration began at 1:30 p.m. and by 2, a dozen groups of walkers, bikers, joggers and dog exercisers stood quietly for a moment of prayer.
Staying on the sidewalks, they then started the walk from Delhi Square, across Kingston Bridge, to turn left onto Back River Road. After a few miles under sunshine and fluffy clouds, the walkers crossed Fitches Covered Bridge and headed back to Delhi Square, a 6-mile trip.
Tying the CROP Walk to needs at home, participants were encouraged to bring canned food or to donate to the Food Bank. “We also took the legendary story of Stone Soup and incorporated it in the CROP Walk,” said Campbell. Soup and bread were served after the walk.
“While they are walking, the vegetables were made into soup in the church kitchen,” said Campbell. “There are many wonderful volunteers. And, on chilly days, soup is welcomed.”
The Stone Soup story has multiple versions, but the tall-tale theme of everyone contributing for the good of all, rings through each version. “The hobo comes to town and offers to make soup for the starving town residents,” explained Campbell. “The hobo brings out a stone, as though it is precious, and drops it in a soup pot, saying ‘this soup would even be better if we had some potatoes.’ Sure enough, one at a time, the town folk bring a few potatoes, then carrots, then peas, and so on until a big pot of soup was ready to feed everyone.”