Riverhead churches organize the CROP Hunger Walk each fall to raise money for Church World Service and local food pantries.
This year more than 20 people walked a four-mile hike around downtown Riverhead Sunday, joining more than 100,000 people worldwide to raise funds to combat hunger. In 2016, 120,000 people participated in 1,000 walks and raised $10 million dollars, according to the Church World Service website.
One-third of the money raised goes to local food pantries, said organizer Liz Wines.
The CROP (Community Response to Overcome Poverty) Hunger Walks help end hunger by raising funds also support the international anti-hunger work of Church World Service, including agricultural training and combatting droughts.
The Rev. Dr. Anton DeWet of Old Steeple Community Church in Aquebogue led the group in prayer before it started the walk from the First Congregational Church of Riverhead Sunday afternoon.
“As we prepare for the CROP walk, let us recall the African proverb: If you want to walk fast, walk alone — but if you want to walk far, walk with others,” DeWet said.
“The poor of the world are thirsty for justice and peace,” he said. “This battle is unending
till hate and depression cease.”
In addition to Old Steeple Community Church and First Congregational Church of Riverhead, the Riverhead United Methodist Church, House of Praise and Middle Island Congregational Church all participated in this year’s walk.
CROP Hunger Walks have been taking place for almost 50 years.