CROP Walk marks 40 years in Murrysville, helping feed the hungry |

CROP Walk marks 40 years in Murrysville, helping feed the hungry

Patrick Varine
Tribune-Review file
Above, 2017 Murrysville CROP Walk participants pose for a photo. This year’s Murrysville Area CROP Walk will be Oct. 13, 2019.

Roger Schneider moved to Murrysville in 2000 from Pittsburgh, where he previously helped organize an annual CROP Walk, an acronym for Communities Responding to Overcome Poverty.

When he arrived, he found a local CROP Walk had been established for more than two decades, dedicated to raising money for the less fortunate, including those in the Murrysville area.

This year’s walk will be Oct. 13.

“Remember that hungry people in developing countries typically walk the distance of the Murrysville walk each day to get food, water and fuel, and to take their goods to market,” Schneider said. “We walk to be in solidarity with their struggle for existence.”

That does not discount needy families in the immediate area, however. A quarter of the funds raised in local walks stays in the local area.

“We actually do a three-way distribution,” Schneider said. “One-third goes to the Loaves & Fishes Emergency Food Pantry at Newlonsburg Presbyterian Church, and the one-third each goes to the Westmoreland County Food Bank’s two Murrysville distribution sites, Mother of Sorrows Church and Cornerstone Ministries.”

This year marks the Murrysville walk’s 40th anniversary, and the 50th for the overall event, which was started in North Dakota by the Church World Service.

Walkers solicit sponsorship and can participate in either a 5.5- or 3.3-mile loop that begins and ends at Calvary Lutheran Church on Old William Penn Highway.

While families and individuals must meet specific guidelines to qualify for food from the food bank distribution sites, Newlonsburg’s emergency pantry “is for just that: emergency situations,” Schneider said. “People can call and they’ll help out with a box of food.”

Registration for the walk will begin at 1 p.m. Oct. 13 at the church, 4725 Old William Penn Highway in Murrysville. Over the years, local walkers have raised roughly $207,000.

Anyone interested in becoming a walker or sponsor can call the Newlonsburg church office at 724-327-0061.

Patrick Varine is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Patrick at 724-850-2862, [email protected] or via Twitter .

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