Editor: Many people remember the 1960s as a decade of music festivals, protests and a youthful energy driving society toward something better.

Part of that “better” meant ending hunger, which is why, in 1969, a group of teens in Bismarck, N.D., dreamed up what would become known as the CROP Hunger Walk.

It was a big dream: walk 20 miles to bring awareness to the fact that recent wars and conflicts left families around the world starving. The teen “Walkers” raised funds to create solutions for those families. The first Walk was a huge success, setting the precedent for charity walks around the nation.

Fifty years later, that legacy continues. Millions of people in hundreds of U.S. communities fight hunger every year through the CROP Hunger Walks. Sponsored by the international-aid organization Church World Service, these Walks raise more than $8 million annually, providing nutritious food both in the U.S. and around the world.

The Arlington CROP Hunger Walk has been part of this global movement for 42 years. Funds raised support Arlington Food Assistance Center and global programs for sustainable agriculture, disaster relief and refugee assistance. But after years of progress, hunger is on the rise. Roughly one in nine people goes to bed each night on an empty stomach. We’re up against new weather patterns, shifting seasons, armed conflicts and more. All ages are invited to help.

The 5K/10K Walk takes place on Oct. 12 beginning and ending at First Presbyterian Church (601 North Vermont St.). For additional information, see the Website at www.arlngtoncropwalk.org.

Kenn Speicher


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