Church groups walk for food

Roughly 200 people turned out at Incarnation Catholic Church on Sunday to help raise money for local food-help programs.

Organizers said teams from nearly 15 congregations had raised money to participate in the annual 5K Crop Walk, which generated $19,000 last year. They said they hope to raise $25,000 this year.

One group from Glendale’s Temple Sinai raised $2,000 for the cause, half of which participant Maggie Freed said was collected in an online campaign.

“I e-mailed everyone I know. Most of them pitched in with a little bit of something,” she said.

She heard from college friends and family on the East Coast, as well as former colleagues. Jan Sway of Temple Sinai said she raised $500 from her own campaign.

Evelyn Horigan, who helped organize the event, said one member of the Vallejo Drive Seventh-day Adventist Church has donated $10,000 to the cause in five of the past six years.

Before the walk began, Joanne Meraz was taking pictures of a board displaying organizations the walk would benefit. She said she’d include the pictures in thank-you notes to friends and colleagues at Glendale Community College who sponsored her walk.

She said she became a full-time student at Glendale College after facing unemployment, and was able to work through a bout of depression with the help of people who befriended her.

“I want to give back to the community that helped me,” she said.

A quarter of the money earned from the walk will benefit the Bailey Human Care Center in Tujunga; the Loaves and Fishes food pantry in Glendale, Burbank and Los Angeles; Food for Thought, a program serving low-income students at Glendale Community College; the ShareOurSelves thrift store in Glendale; and the Salvation Army’s Meals on Wheels program.

The remaining 75% goes to support programs that span 80 countries and provide improved water access, materials for rebuilding after natural disasters, and food and medicine for refugees in Rwanda and Kenya, organizers said.

It was also the fifth consecutive year that Feinstein Foundation supplemented the money raised from Glendale’s Crop Walk.

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