SAM SHAWVER The Marietta Times
More than 140 people participated in this year's Mid-Ohio Valley CROP Hunger Walk in Marietta Sunday afternoon. The 5-mile walk raises money for local food pantries, as well as for organizations around the world to raise awareness about hunger-related issues. Twenty-five percent of Sunday's proceeds will benefit the Marietta Community, First Church of the Nazarene, Gospel Mission and Helping Hands food pantries. "Last year we raised just over $10,000, and had 16 churches, businesses and schools participating," said event coordinator Sara Lamb. "This year we have 20 of those organizations participating." She said the walkers donate or obtain donations to make the 5-mile trek along Marietta's River Trail. "There are people all over the world who have to walk miles to get their food and water, and this event is symbolic that we're all walking with them to fight hunger," Lamb added. Donations can also be made to Church World Services, international sponsor of the event, by logging onto www.cwsglobal.org, she said. Bill Farnsworth with the Marietta Community Food Pantry said events like the CROP Hunger Walk are a great help to all of the area food pantries. "We all depend entirely on donations and community support," he said. "Last year our pantry served about 8,000 area families, and I'm sure we'll be doing the same or more this year." Lamb said volunteers from the community and Marietta College make the annual CROP Walks possible.