Approximate 120 people, representing 11 Lehighton area churches, enjoyed the fall foliage along the Lehigh Canal Park in Weissport on Sunday as they walked in the 2009 Crop Hunger Walk to help feed local people and take a stand against world hunger.
The walkers gathered to walk either one mile or four miles. Each brought envelopes stuffed full of money, which was either a personal donation or they had collected funds from friends and neighbors. Last year's event raised $4187. Of that total, of the funds collected or $1,046 was donated to the Trinity Food Panty to feed local hungry.
The Crop Walk is an annual project where neighbors walking together take a stand against hunger in the world. Walks are held throughout the world to raise awareness and funds for international relief and development, as well as to help in local hunger-fighting efforts.
Before the walkers departed for their walk, Shirley Radler of LIFE (Lehighton Interfaith) explained the mission of the Crop Walk. She noted that while we eat Skittles, the hungry eat rice. She also noted that the poor walk for food while we go through a drive through.
"The poor have no shoes, while we wear Nikes," she said. "They wonder if they'll eat again, while we snack constantly. They worry about having clothes and we worry about name brands."
She added that while the poor toil in the sun, we turn on our air conditioners.
"While they wish they could go to school," she said. "Our children hope for a snow day. They worry about a roof over their heads, we wonder what people think of our homes."
She concluded with, "While they walk for just about every event, we are walking today to make a difference."
Churches involved in Sunday's walk were: St. Matthew Church, Franklin Township; Dinkey Memorial Church and Ben Salem Church, East Penn Township; Trinity Church, First Presbyterian Church, Zion Church, Grace Lutheran Church and Ss. Peter and Paul Church, Lehighton; St. Paul's Church, Weissport; and Zion Church, Packerton.