BALDWIN — People in downtown Baldwin on Saturday may have noticed a large group of walkers clad in bright orange vests rallying behind a banner — “Ending hunger one step at a time.”

Those who participated in the Seventh Annual Lake County CROP Hunger Walk achieved the most successful year yet with the highest amount of participants and the most money raised.

“This was a banner year,” said Bruce Whitney, event organizer and pastor of the Baldwin Congregational Church. “We raised $7,556.30, the highest total in seven years. We also had the highest number of participants, with 78 walkers, four non-walkers and one car driver who picked up those who weren’t able to walk the whole route.”

Participants of all ages met at the Baldwin Congregational Church and walked through downtown Baldwin on Michigan Avenue, circling back to the church. Some walkers took their dogs along for the stroll.

There were 13 churches and organizations who participated, bringing it up from nine groups who took part last year, Whitney said.

The church groups were from Baldwin, Idlewild, Luther, Chase and Lake Township, and a number of denominations were represented, including Catholic, Congregational, United Methodist, Baptist, Non-denominational and more.

The Bread of Life food pantry in Baldwin also took part, with $1,889 of the proceeds raised going back to the pantry.

“I am very grateful for all those who come and share in this joint community effort to combat hunger here and in the larger world community,” Whitney said. “This is such a giving community. There was a lot of fun, excitement and joy during this event.”

The CROP Hunger Walk is sponsored by Church World Service, with the total money raised split evenly between local, regional, national and international missions combating hunger.

Lynne Mills, member of Bread of Life food pantry was amazed by the community effort.

“This has been amazing seeing people come together from so many different churches to reach out to those in need,” she said. “This little town has touched people facing hunger worldwide and added extra funding for our own pantry. God is on the move in our community. The more we give the more we receive.”