Over the last decade, South County Community Services (SCCS) has received a whisper less than $50,000 from the annual CROP Walk, an event aimed at ending hunger, one step at a time.
This year’s event will take place April 24. It has been hosted for the last five years at the Vicksburg United Methodist Church. The location of the church and the warm hospitality are greatly appreciated by participants.
The heart and soul of the walk’s success during this period of time is embodied in Brad Addis with the support of his wife, Barb. His leadership will end in 2016. He wants this to be the best event ever.
The course is a pleasant three-mile walk through the Village of Vicksburg and there are shorter options for anyone who wants to participate but is not up to a walk. Everyone who participates receives a T-shirt. Pledging materials and additional information are available at cropwalkonline.org/vicksburgmi or from church members or at SCCS.
The walks bring neighbors and friends together to take a stand against hunger. Walkers raise awareness and funds to help feed people across the world and around the corner. In the South County area, SCCS receives 25 percent of what is raised. The money is used to supplement the basic foods provided by Loaves and Fishes for the SCCS Pantry and helps assure that families leave with well balanced, nutritional meals to feed every family member for at least four days.
In 2015 SCCS provided 10,924 days of food to South County families. This does not include its partnership with Schoolcraft volunteers who delivered monthly to 58 families in 2015. In the six-township area that SCCS serves, 33 percent of the households either live in poverty or have difficulty meeting basic needs such as food, utilities, transportation and healthcare expenses on a dependable basis.
“There are not enough positive words to describe how much the board, staff, volunteers and shoppers appreciate the support that comes from the CROP Walk,” said Danna Downing, SCCS director. She added that most people using the pantry never expected to be in a position to need help with food. They know first-hand that when money is tight and times are tough, the food budget is the first place they can reduce expenses. And, that’s why they appreciate help from the SCCS Pantry.
The walks were started through Church World Service, founded in 1946. CROP is an acronym for Christian Rural Overseas Program, originally intended to help farmers to share their grain with the hungry in postwar Europe and Asia. The acronym is still used, but rarely spelled out.