Dozens walk for hunger
By Nathan Hardin
SALISBURY — Nancy Yates hit the ground walking on Sunday as about 100 people turned out for the 33rd Salisbury-Rowan CROP Hunger Walk.
Yates, who took over as the event’s organizer this year, said she was excited about the turnout.
“That’s a great day in the park,” Yates said. “It’s a good day for hunger.”
Yates said 10 churches participated in the walk and she expects about $5,000 in donations.
CROP — which stands for Communities Responding to Overcome Poverty — is a Rowan County event, sponsored by local churches.
The event gives 25 percent of the money raised to local organizations like Rowan Helping Ministires, Meals on Wheels and Main Street Pantry in China Grove, Yates said. The remaining 75 percent will go to national and global organizations.
“We’re talking about projects that help people rebuild their communities,” Yates said.
Polly Deal, who has participated in the walk all 33 years, said the event has changed a lot over time.
“It used to be a 10-mile walk,” she said.
The walk is now just shy of 5 miles, and started Sunday on Lake Drive, traveling around the lake and back up Mahaley Avenue.
Deal said the attendance was down this year also.
“It’s not near what it used to be,” she said.
Yates confirmed the numbers, saying the walk typically has between 150 to 200 walkers, but that she was still optimistic because it was her first year at the helm.
Yates, who moved to China Grove from Murphy, said the number of walkers and donations were down this years because the number of participating churches was down, as well.
Don Heidt, who is a veteran walker, said the event had more adults this year.
“There are more adults here this year than teenagers and kids,” Heidt said.
Heidt also said the walk’s route has stayed the same for the last few years, but said it’s the best route in the last few decades.
“It’s the best route yet,” he said. “There are very little street crossings.”
Yates said she hopes to hold two events next year for the walk, one in China Grove and the other in Salisbury.
“We have a lot more we could be inviting,” she said. “I know we could get more in the county that way.”
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