Published 12:00 am Monday, October 14, 2013

SALISBURY — With a slightly different route this year that measured exactly 5 kilometers, the annual Crop Walk turned into the Crop Run for some participants.
An enthusiastic and diverse crowd set off on foot Saturday from City Park to raise money and awareness for the fight to end world hunger and malnutrition. More than a dozen younger participants picked up the pace and seemed intent on running, not strolling, to the finish.
For the second year, a group in China Grove held a simultaneous southern leg of the Rowan County Crop Walk. The two events will combine their proceeds to benefit several agencies that fight hunger locally and worldwide.
Nancy Yates of First United Methodist Church in China Grove is the overall coordinator, and Church Women United again ran the registration table at City Park.
Milford Hills United Methodist Church in Salisbury was defending the Golden Sneaker Award, which the church won last year by raising the most money for hunger relief efforts.
Totals will be available in a few weeks, when all pledges have been collected.
Every five seconds, a child in the world dies from hunger, the Rev. Randy Kirby of First Presbyterian Church told participants.
Across the globe, hunger-related issues kill more people than AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis combined. Fifty million people in the United States, including 17 million children, don’t have enough to eat.
The Crop Walk, which began in 1946, symbolizes the long distances some people must traverse just to find sustenance, Kirby said.
“They walk for food and water,” he said. “We walk because we care.”
Contact reporter Emily Ford at 704-797-4264.