This Sunday, Hays County will take a stand against world and local hunger, one step at a time.
The annual Hays County CROP Hunger Walk, co-sponsored by Church World Service, is scheduled for March 3 at the Dunbar Center.
Registration starts at 2 p.m. in the Dunbar Center parking lot, located at 801 MLK in San Marcos. The walk will begin at 2:30 after a brief welcome ceremony and a warm-up of mixing and mingling.
The 2.1 mile route will run through the Dunbar and San Antonio Street Historic District neighborhood with planned stops at the Hays County Food Bank and Dunbar Community Gardens.
About 2,000 communities across the country take part in CROP Walks each year to raise awareness and funds for international disaster relief, like Hurricane Sandy, while also raising funds to help battle local hunger.
Twenty-five percent of the total raised will be provided to the Hays County Food Bank (HCFB).
Last year the local CROP Hunger Walk raised over $15,000, with HCFB receiving $3,760.
Churches, individuals and families, local businesses and community organizations form teams to raise money and walk together for the cause.
“This is a family-friendly event and children are welcome to come and walk with their families,” Zach Thomas, Hays County CROP Walk organizer, said. “We appreciate that all ages can become aware of the need and get involved with helping alleviate hunger.”
Thomas is also the Walk Leader for the San Marcos Unitarian Universalist Fellowship, the organization that has raised the most money during the last two local CROP Walks.
This year, Texas State University’s Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA) has formed a team and is helping promote the event on campus and the community.
Other teams include the San Marcos Unitarian Universalist Fellowship, St. Mark’s Episcopal, Jackson Chapel and the Hays County Food Bank.
Anyone who wants to support the effort can donate directly to the team of their choice, pay online or make a donation at the Dunbar Center this Sunday between 2 and 2:30 p.m.
To pay online, visit www.cropwalk.org , click on the Texas map and look for the Hays County Food Bank CROP Walk link.
You can donate to a specific team or just make a donation to the cause.
Other Texas State University groups who are involved include the Organization of Student Social Workers, an Honors College class from the Department of Social Work and Water Aid, a student organization that focuses on educating people about the scarcity of clean water around the world. They will lead an activity when walkers reach the Food Bank.
The Hays County Master Gardeners will also have an education station for children when walkers visit the Dunbar Community Garden for a show and tell demonstration.
“We are thrilled to have all these new groups join in to support us this year,” Jane Moore, the Food Bank community relations coordinator, said.
Thomas encourages local organizations to form teams or for citizens to walk as individuals.
“This is a great annual community event for a good cause so we hope many citizens will register online or contact us for donation envelopes,” Thomas said.
For more information about the Hays County CROP Hunger Walk visit www.cropwalk.org .