Feeding the hungry

Crop Hunger Walk brings community together

BALDWIN — Community members came together in a time of celebration and reaching out on Sunday at the Baldwin Congregational Church during the 11th Lake County Crop Hunger Walk.

The event, in coordination with Church World Service, encourages communities and churches to raise money to combat hunger in the world, and locally.

Each year, several church groups in Lake County participate, and this year, the event kicked off with 21 days of prayer and devotionals.

Due to the heat, the event was in the church, and participants enjoyed a number of song selections from Skylight Quartet, of Grand Rapids.

Pastor Bruce Whitney, coordinator of the event, announced $8,056 was raised for the Crop Walk as of Sunday, with more donations coming when teams turn in their pledges.

"This outreach helps change the world and change this place. Let's keep bringing hope to families," Whitney said, calling those who participated, "the helpers."

The Golden Shoe award, which involves friendly competition, went to Bread of Life food pantry, with the most (106) participants. Baldwin Congregational Church received the hands award, for offering the most prayers.

Whitney said there was a good response to the 21 days of prayer, praise and action, with 220 devotional guides distributed.

"The prayers are not just prayers. The prayers are a call to action — putting feet on the Gospel," he said. "With all the churches coming together it brings all this diversity — we become a unit. We walk because some have to walk. We walk besides brothers and sisters. Let's walk together — let's do something about it."

"This has been a hard 18 months with the pandemic, but one thing that did not stop was the caring. Bread of Life pantry stayed open. Lake Fellowship Ministries bought a building in the middle of a pandemic. It was a time of division in the nation, but in Lake County we stood together and served one another," Whitney continued, saying during the Crop Walk last year, which took place virtually, more than $8,000 was raised.