CROP Walk steps off Sunday

A brisk walk tends to stir up feelings of hunger.

On Sunday, scores of walkers around the region will fight hunger by putting shoes to pavement as part of CROP Walk, the largest fundraiser put on every year by Church World Service, an international assistance organization supported by 37 American denominations.

To become part of the thousands walking around the country, people can join walks in Williamsport, beginning at St. Mark’s Lutheran Church, 142 N. Market St.; at Trout Run United Methodist Church, on Creamery Street; and at Watsontown Elementary School, 1100 Main St.

All three CROP Walks will step off at 1:30 p.m., and anyone can come and register on site before the walks begin. Even if participants haven’t raised any funds yet to sponsor their walk, money can be donated online after the fact, and people don’t have to participate to donate.

“One of the changes we’ve seen in more and more people donating online, who are able to use email, Facebook and Twitter to give money,” the Rev. Ken Wagner-Pizza, coordinator of Williamsport’s CROP Walk and the Pastor at Trinity Episcopal Church, said. “Friends and relatives from around the world can donate that way. More and more churches and groups are setting up teams online, too. We’ll have virtual walkers, people who can’t walk or can’t come that day who are still raising funds.”

Of all the funds raised, a quarter stay in the region to help out food banks and other organizations in their fight against hunger, Wagner-Pizza said.

The Williamsport event again will be held at the Susquehanna River Walk, and walkers can take the short walk between the Market and Maynard street bridges and back, or opt to go further west along the River Walk.

The Watsontown CROP Walk is one of the longest-running in the area, according to the Rev. Dan May, of Holy Spirit Lutheran Church, who is coordinating the Walk for the Warrior Run Ministerium this year.

“(Watsontown) was one of the earliest in CROP’s history of doing these walks,” May said. “There was a connection with a pastor who had served in this area who had gotten involved in CROP, which allowed it to get some traction a lot quicker.”

The Watsontown Walk has two different paths. There’s a 2-miler, south from the elementary school to the park, across town, and a 5-miler, down to the park and back and then up to the Methodist Church in Dewart and back.

“We’ve had two or three about every year who have done the 5-mile route,” May said.

The Walk at Trout Run United Methodist is usually a fairly small group, according to coordinator Mary Phillips.

“We usually get 15, maybe 20,” Phillips said.

Their route is not one for the lazy, though: they walk from the church down Susque Road along Lycoming Creek and back, about a six-mile round trip.

“It makes a nice walk because it’s pretty flat,” Phillips said.

For more information or to donate to CROP Walk, visit

Other upcoming CROP Walks in

central Pennsylvania include:

Milton, 1:30 p.m., Oct. 13, meet at Presbyterian Church, 47 Walnut St.

Bellefonte, 2 p.m., Oct. 20, meet at Faith United Methodist Church, 512 Hughes St.

Bloomsburg, 1:30 p.m., Oct. 20, meet at Winona Food Cupboard, 329 Center St.

Benton, 1 p.m., Oct. 20, meet at Christ the King Church.

Danville, 1:30 p.m., Oct. 20, meet at Hess Field, off Route 11.