I had the privilege of meeting with Paul Pierce and Gary Greenberg to discuss the Fresno/Clovis CROP Hunger Walk, which will take place on Sunday, October 24, at Temple Beth Israel (TBI) at 2:30 p.m. Each year, a different house of worship sponsors the Walk. TBI is a Reform Jewish congregation. This is the second time TBI has sponsored the Walk. The congregation participates yearly.
Greenberg is president of TBI Brotherhood and the TBI Walk representative. He is retired and committed to Tikkun Olam or healing the world, which is an important part of the Jewish tradition.
In accordance with this tradition, in addition to sponsoring the Walk, a group of TBI members serve food at the Poverello House on the second Thursday of the month. Greenberg also completed the Fresno Citizen Corps/Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) certification.
Greenberg said the TBI Sisterhood and TBI Religious School youth and staff would also be volunteering for this event.
Pierce facilitates group meetings, strategic planning, team building and leadership development for public, private and community benefit organizations. He is facilitating the Walk planning at TBI. He has been on the CROP Walk Steering Committee for the past five years. Pierce said that the Fresno/Clovis Walk is one of the top 100 out of 2,000 Walks. It has the most diverse faith community participation in our region.
Who coordinates the Fresno/Clovis CROP Hunger Walk?
Al Evans has been the coordinator of the Walk for many years. He is a member of the College Community Congregational Church.
What are CROP Hunger Walks?
CROP stands for Communities Responding to Overcome Poverty. Community members from diverse faiths, ages and cultures come together to raise funds to end world hunger in our own community and around the world. The event is sponsored by Church World Services.
Why not just collect money? Why walk?
Hungry people in developing countries typically walk as much as six miles a day to get food, water and fuel, and to take goods to market. We walk to be in solidarity with their struggle for existence. We walk because they walk! And we walk to call attention to this real everyday life-threatening situation, not just worldwide, but also here in our community.
Where does the money go?
CROP Hunger Walks is a grassroots effort that helps fight hunger and poverty around the world, including the United States. Up to 25% of what the Fresno/Clovis CROP Hunger Walk raises will assist the Community Food Bank, which is the local recipient. The Community Food Bank not only receives donations but also is a partner in the Walk providing snacks, water and publicity. Vivian St. Louis notes that the Community Food Bank needs volunteers to help distribute food. Visit http://communityfoodbank.net/ to volunteer or contact the Community Food Bank (3403 E. Central Ave.) at 559-237-3663 or by fax at 559-237-2527.
What makes the CROP Hunger Walk different/special?
It is a community-based, interfaith event. It assists locally and globally. Walk donors may designate their donations to other approved international hunger-fighting agencies. All proceeds go to those in need. The participating agencies absorb all costs to put on the Walks.
What difference does the CROP Hunger Walk make?
Examples include the following:
- $72 can provide emergency food supplies for a family of five for a month.
- $120 can help three women attend literacy class for a year, which could change their lives forever.
- $200 can give a farm family a water buffalo to significantly increase their food production, as well as a way to carry produce to market.
- $350 can provide the eldest in a child-headed household of AIDS orphans with vocational training to be able to support his/her siblings and him/herself.
- $1,050 can support community-based health, hygiene, and sanitation training for an entire community.
Do I have to walk or can I just donate?
Although it is fun to walk, it is not required. If you walk, there are two options: a one- or three-mile loop that begins and ends at Temple Beth Israel (6622 N. Maroa Ave., south of Herndon Avenue on the east side of Maroa).
How do I sign up to walk and/or donate to the Fresno/Clovis CROP Hunger Walk?
Visit http://tinyurl.com/CROP2010 or call Paul at 559-264-4421 or Gary at 559-269-1340. For more general information, visit www.cropwalk.org.