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Crop Hunger Walk turns eyes toward poverty

Thu., April 24, 2014

Randy Goss believes that if everyone does a small part, people’s lives can improve locally and globally.

One thing he’s done to help others is to participate in Crop Hunger Walks. He’s been walking in Spokane for 15 years now – for the past three years he’s chaired the planning committee – and walked a couple of times in California before moving here.

Spokane’s 2014 Crop Hunger Walk is Sunday, starting at 1:30 p.m. at Spokane Community College, 1810 N. Greene St.

“In the U.S., walking is about pleasure, but in other parts of the world, it’s a matter of life and death,” Goss said. “The walk is an opportunity to reflect on how easy we have it. If we are hungry, we go to the refrigerator for food. If we are thirsty, we turn on a water faucet.

“Our goal is to build awareness and a sense of community with other people,” he said.

The idea for the Crop Walk started after World War II when farmers sent grain to Europe. Originally CROP was an acronym for Christian Rural Overseas Program. Today, Crop is the name of the program, not an acronym.

Since the Spokane Crop Hunger Walk started in 1979, walks have raised more than $400,000, Goss said. It’s the oldest Crop Hunger Walk in the Pacific Northwest.

Last year the walk raised more than $13,000. Five years, ago the walk raised $33,000 – the best year since Goss has been involved.

With the funds, Church World Service develops community wells to provide drinking water and provides livestock, he said.

Funds also fight hunger in the United States.

“Have you ever gone to bed hungry? Have you ever kissed your children goodnight to have them sleep in the back seat of your car?” he asked.

“The local needs are great. There is so much to do in our backyards,” Goss said. Goss owns R.W. Goss Construction and is a member of Colbert Presbyterian Church.

“I’m passionate about what CWS does globally and our keeping 25 percent of proceeds local,” he said. This year proceeds will go to Family Promise and Greater Spokane Meals on Wheels, two organizations he believes need added support.

The portion of funds that goes to Church World Service has helped with U.S. disasters like Hurricane Katrina and Hurricane Sandy for long-term recovery and 75 percent goes for global development.

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