"Be Good. Do Good."
Hundreds of shirts with this slogan could be seen throughout 3.7 miles of the Chapel Hill-Carrboro area today as part of the annual CROP Hunger Walk.
The CROP Hunger Walk was created to raise support for local and global hunger relief. Church World Service, an organization that services hunger relief projects in more than 80 countries, partnered with the Inter-Faith Council in 1987 to start the walk. In the past 25 years, the event has raised more than $1 million dollars for both local and global programs providing hunger relief.
Jo Wyrick, a novelist and UNC graduate who coordinated this years CROP Hunger Walk, said the event raised $15,000 online before it even started, but had an additional 85 people sign up on arrival.
"The walk raises money for the the men's homeless shelters, the food bank and many other IFC organizations," Wyrick said. "The profits are split with Church World Service, which does hunger relief work around the world. This is the ultimate partnership of think globally, act locally."
In addition to the march through the town, the CROP Hunger Walk event featured live music and food to celebrate the efforts of everyone involved in making it happen.
Mel Jones, who works at UNC in the Office of Research Information Systems and is a saxophone player, volunteered his band, New Orleans Masquerade, to play for the opening ceremony of the walk.
"I came to another hunger walk where it was a rainy day, and I thought that if I was going to walk 4 miles in the rain I'd want some music," Jones said. "I volunteered our band to play this year because it's a great cause and there are a lot of people who don't know where they're getting their next meal."
Wyrick said more than 300 walkers attended the event in various religious, business and volunteer groups.
Bettina Shuford, associate vice chancellor for student affairs at UNC, has volunteered for several years at the CROP Hunger Walk.
"Church congregations and many different religious groups get teams and walk together," Shuford said. "Any churches, synagogues and temples are encouraged to join the event."
UNC lecturer Jennifer Weinberg-Wolf and her family came to the event to walk with their synagogue team and support the hunger-relief movement.
"We think its a great opportunity to support the IFC and get some exercise," Weinberg-Wolf said. "We are walking for people who don't have access to food and have to walk incredible distances."
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