AGAWAM — The 2024 Agawam-West Springfield CROP Hunger Walk will take place Sunday, April 28, at Feeding Hills Congregational Church.

CROP Hunger Walks are community-led interfaith events that raise funds to end hunger locally and around the world. Everyone is welcome to join. Registration starts at 1 p.m. The walk begins at 1:30 p.m. from the church at 21 N. Westfield St., Feeding Hills. Participants can choose from three distances: a six-mile walk to Church of Redemption at 50 Maple St. in Agawam, a three-mile walk to St. David’s Episcopal Church at 699 Springfield St. in Feeding Hills, and a short route to the Feeding Hills fire station at 1200 Springfield St.

“We hope to have 100 walkers and raise over $10,000,” said co-coordinator Diana Forfa. “This year we have a youth group from First Congregational Church in Westfield joining us, as well as some of the churches in Agawam, Feeding Hills and West Springfield.”

She went on to say, “We’re also going to do a food drive at the registration rally. The food drive will benefit the Westfield Food Pantry, because the First Congregational Church is walking with us.”

The participating faith communities and civic groups are Agawam Congregational Church, Church of the Good Shepherd in West Springfield, Church of Redemption, Erin Luchenbill and family, Feeding Hills Congregational Church and 4-H Youth Club, First Congregational Church of West Springfield, aFirst Congregational Church of Westfield, Grace Lutheran Church in West Springfield, St. David’s Episcopal Church in Agawam, the Parish Cupboard in West Springfield, and West Springfield United Methodist Church.

In addition, each CROP event partners with a local food bank. For the Agawam-West Springfield CROP Walk, 25% of the proceeds will support the Parish Cupboard, which serves residents of Agawam and West Springfield. The rest benefits CROP, which serves individuals and families in more than 35 countries. CROP began in 1947 when farmers were asked to donate food and seed crops to their hungry neighbors in post-World War II Europe and Asia. The first CROP Hunger Walks took place in 1969 in Bismarck, North Dakota, and in 1970 in York, Pennsylvania.

Over the years, CROP Hunger Walks have taken place in cities and towns across the United States, raising money to end hunger and poverty. Participating churches in Agawam and West Springfield take turns hosting the local walk.

“The most fulfilling part for me is seeing all these faith-community groups coming together to work together,” said Forfa. “I’d like to see lots of people from the community and surrounding towns participate. We’re hoping for a nice weather day, but we’ll walk rain or shine.”

Those interested in participating can register as a team or an individual at events.crophungerwalk.org/cropwalks/event/agawamma. Those who are unable to attend can donate online or give a donation to the churches participating. For more information, contact Diana Forfa at drforfa@hotmail.com.

Miasha Lee
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