Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Crop Hunger Walk needs $14,000

With barely two months to go, organizers of the annual Crop Hunger Walk need an additional $14,000 to host the popular fundraiser.

This year's Crop Walk is Oct. 4 and begins near Memorial Stadium. Organizers expect about 6,000 participants. Last year, it drew more than 5,000 for the 90-minute walk.
In 30 years, the event has raised nearly $6 million, the most nationally. Nearly $1.5 million went to local charities.

The event's success is heartening, but it takes money to pay for the personnel, including police officers, and other logistics that make Crop Walk possible. Organizers rely on corporate donors to cover the $25,000 cost of hosting Crop Walk. So far, the organization has raised $11,000, said Anne Shoaf, interim Crop Walk chair. The suggested minimum corporate donation is $1,000.

During a sponsor appreciation luncheon on Wednesday, Shoaf, city council member Nancy Carter and Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools superintendent Peter Gorman, Crop Walk co-chair, emphasized the community needs.

Locally Crop Walk benefits Loaves & Fishes, Second Harvest Food Bank and Crisis Assistance Ministry. Loaves & Fishes served 84,000 people last year. This year, it may help 100,000. It has 18 pantries, two of which opened in the last 13 months. The agency may open another one this year. Last year, the group raised $227,361, and it hopes to raise $250,000 this year.

Crisis Assistance Ministry, which helps with rent and utilities, had a record 299 people in line one morning last week.

Second Harvest Food Bank provides meals for clients of more than 200 local non-profits.

The money raised during Crop Walk will help these agencies and others around the world. Families, friends, schools and other pockets of people will form teams to unite for the walk on Oct. 4. That's great, but the walk also needs more local businesses and corporations to chip in as well.

Plus, big money donors get their company name and possibly logo on the coveted Crop Walk T-shirt.

We all love T-shirts.