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CROP Hunger Walk Set for Sunday

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The Los Alamos CROP Hunger Walk and Turkey Trot will leave the Los Alamos Middle School starting line at 2 p.m. Sunday.

At that moment, local participants will be joining hundreds of communities across the U.S., putting their best foot forward in this national effort to eradicate global hunger and malnutrition. In so doing, event participants are continuing a local tradition, raising money for long-term sustainable approaches to significantly reduce or eliminate hunger around the world.

Los Alamos residents got involved in 2001 when Ted Williams and the late Aaron Goldman combined the Atomic City Road Runners’ annual Turkey Trot with a CROP Hunger Walk. Concerned citizens of this town have been raising money for hunger relief with this fun, annual community event ever since.

On Sunday, runners and walkers will gather in the Middle School Cafeteria (on North Mesa) after 1 p.m. to register and get a t-shirt, turn in any money they have been able to raise from friends and supporters, and head out to the starting line.

When the “gun goes off” folks will head down San Ildefonso Road to the stables. The longer route of 2.57 miles will go into the stables and back out. The shorter 1.5 mile route passes the stables. From there, both routes head back on North Mesa Road, past the Posse Lodge and up the hill to the Middle School, again. As they cross the finish line, participants will be given their finishing time.

At least 25 percent of the funds donated in support of Sunday’s walkers and runners will stay in Los Alamos, supporting L.A. Cares, the local food distribution organization. The remaining funds will go to support the efforts of Church World Service (CWS), a network of 37 Christian relief agencies working with other global relief partners. Los Alamos walkers can designate their fundraising preference.

Church World Service’s work began in 1946, in the aftermath of WWII, with a mission to feed the hungry and help those in need. In that first year, more than 11 million pounds of food, clothing and medical supplies were sent to war-torn Europe and Asia.

Funds from the Los Alamos CROP Walks have made the following possible:

• Hong Khoeun and Sim Kheang began to partner with CWS Cambodia in 2012. They defined their household goals and put a plan in place to work towards them. Thanks to a CWS small business grant, Khoeun began selling cakes.

• Two mothers and two mother pigs. Together, they reunited a family, started a store, enabled two boys to go to school, yielded more than $4,600 in income and helped a business grow and thrive.

• Rafael Alvarado, who lives in a town high in the mountains of Honduras has partnered with CWS partner CASM to diversify his crops, build an eco-stove, pour a new cement floor, build a water storage tank, start vermiculture and fence his chicken pens.

Los Alamos residents are encouraged to walk or run in the CROP Hunger Walk and Turkey Trot this Sunday. Those who prefer, can sponsor someone who will do the walk. Participants will gather in the Middle School Cafeteria for snacks and a random drawing for pies and turkeys.