Crop of fundraising walkers hits the streets

Participants walked Sunday to end hunger during the annual Glendale/Foothills Communities Crop Walk.

CROP, or Communities Responding to Overcome Poverty, is a national fundraiser that benefits food pantries in the United States and provides food and other disaster relief aid to developing countries.

“I think the walk gives people the opportunity to have some fellowship, and it raises awareness about the hungry,” said David Earle, executive director of Food for Body and Soul, a Glendale-based nonprofit faith-based organization that provides meals and worship services for the homeless.

The organization is one of the recipients of the Crop Walk proceeds, Earle said.

On Sunday, about 75 people took part in the walk, said Barbara Blaine, coordinator of the local Crop Walk committee. At the end of the walk, participants were treated to hamburgers and cold drinks.

By the early afternoon, the event had raised about $20,000, Blaine said, adding that more money was expected to be turned in by the end of the week.

One of the participants was 74-year-old Roger Fernandez of Glendale. Fernandez and his wife, Lucille Fernandez, 82, walked to raise money for the hungry.

“It’s a good step for humanity,” Roger Fernandez said after the walk.

It was the fourth year that he was doing his part to help the needy, he said, adding that he also walked to represent his church, Incarnation Catholic Church.

Roger Fernandez was one of the first people to finish the walk on Sunday. He walked ahead of his wife and felt proud that he was able to get ahead of most participants.

The 5K walk started at Incarnation Catholic Church on Brand Boulevard and headed toward Holy Family Catholic Church on Lomita Avenue. Walkers made their way to Louise Street and then up to Brand Boulevard and ended at St. Mark’s Episcopal Church.

There, they went to the church’s fellowship hall to be served a meal.

Glendale resident Charles Crosby and his daughter, Cindy, 20, walked and worked with their church to raise more than $900.

“For me, it’s an exciting day because you let people know you are helping others,” Charles Crosby said.

About 25% of the proceeds will benefit local food pantries, including the Salvation Army’s “Meals on Wheels,” Glendale Adventist Medical Center’s food pantry, Food for Thought and the Bailey Human Care Center, Blaine said.

The rest of the proceeds will be sent overseas, she added.

Sunday’s event was a first for La Cañada Flintridge resident Kevan Blanche, who came dressed in shorts, a T-shirt and sneakers for the walk.

Blanche teamed up with his friends from the Glendale City Seventh-day Adventist Church for the cause.

“Some of my friends were helping, so I decided to help,” he said. “It’s a positive feeling, and it’s good exercise.”


 ANI AMIRKHANIAN is a news assistant. She may be reached at (818) 637-3230 or by e-mail at ani.amirkhanian@latimes.com.

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