CROP walk participants check in at the Railroad Plaza Gazebo. (l-r) Susan Elder, Ruth Kim, Judi Mitchell and Nadine Lamanno. Photo provided

Annual CROP Walk brings in over $6,800

March 16, 2007
Santa Paula News
On Saturday, March 4, 37 walkers checked in at the Railroad Plaza Gazebo for the 30th annual Santa Paula CROP Walk. It was also the 60th anniversary for the sponsoring organization, Church World Service (CWS), carrying on “a tradition of help, a legacy of hope.” Marching under slightly cloudy skies, the walkers had some wind to blow them along their 10-kilometer journey. Participating individually and from local churches, walkers brought in over $6,800 in initial pledges. Churches sponsoring walkers included El Buen Pastor United Methodist, St. Sebastian, First Presbyterian, First United Methodist, Universalist Unitarian, Emmanuel Lutheran and St. Paul’s Episcopal. Pledges were collected from congregants, co-workers, friends and family. A portion of the funds raised - 25% - will remain here in Santa Paula to be used for programs that provide food, clothing and shelter for those in need.Church World Service came into being in 1946, in the aftermath of World War II. Its mission was clear: feed the hungry, clothe the naked, heal the sick, comfort the aged, and shelter the homeless. Ministering to the people recovering in war-torn Europe and Asia, U.S. churches provided more than 11 million pounds of food, clothing and medical supplies. CWS provided 80 percent of all the relief supplies from U.S. voluntary agencies to Europe and Asia.In 1947, CWS joined with Lutheran World Relief and the Catholic Rural Life Conference to create a joint community hunger appeal – the Christian Rural Overseas Program, CROP. CROP gathered donations of corn, wheat, rice and beans from farmers across the U.S. Heartland. CROP Friendship Trains collected 5,500 rail carloads of grain, which were shipped to Europe from 1948-1952. These Friendship Trains evolved into the Friendship Food Ships, and soon they were transporting food to Italy, Greece, Central Europe, Israel, Jordan, Turkey, and India.In the 1950s, CWS began to expand the geographic locus of its ministry to Africa and Latin America. Toward the end of the decade, the first CWS food-for-work project was started in Haiti. This was a sea change, as the emphasis shifted from giving out food to helping people find their own unique solutions to the basic causes of hunger and poverty.
In the late 60s, the CROP Walk was born. The walk served as a total community witness of concern – in this case, for hungry people. Today, the CROP Walk involves some 2,000 communities, raising some $16 million – and an untold amount of awareness – to help hungry people here and around the world.CROP Walks are ecumenical, interfaith community events. Undesignated funds help support the worldwide programs of Church World Service. Sponsors of walkers may also designate their gifts to other approved international hunger-fighting agencies, including the Adventist Development and Relief Agency, American Friends Service Committee, American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee, Baptist World Aid/Baptist World Alliance, CARE, Cooperative Baptist Fellowship, Christian Reformed World Relief Committee, Heifer International, Project HOPE, Lutheran World Relief, Medical Assistance Program (MAP), MAZON, Nazarene Compassionate Ministries, Outreach International, Southern Baptist International Mission Board, Unitarian Universalist Service Committee, and World Relief/National Association of Evangelicals.If you missed pledging a walker, or have questions about CROP, call Ruth Colbath at 525-5647, or Church World Service at (888) 297-2767. For up-to-date news about how your CROP Walk gifts are making a difference, call the CWS Hotline at 1-800-297-1516 or visit their website at

Site Search



Call 805 525 1890 to receive the entire paper early. $50.00 for one year.