Early in the 1980s some members of Oak Park’s Second Presbyterian Church (since closed) formed a group interested in hunger issues. They met weekly in homes for simple soup suppers, and to address hunger issues and solutions.
As a group, they soon transferred their membership to First United Church, where they continued to meet with the encouragement of the church staff. In about 1983 they were approached by Janet Young, Regional Director for Church World Service, to start a local CROP Hunger Walk to raise funds to alleviate hunger.
Several members of the group walked in the Greater Chicago CROP Hunger Walk. They then organized the first local Walk, Hunger Walkathon West. lt was held in 1984, with the ministerial staffs of First United Church and several other congregations which participated. The first year, 1984, they collected $13,263. That year the local recipient agencies (which receive 25% of the total raised locally) were the Oak Park Food Pantry, three food pantries located in the Austin area, and The Austin Community Table.
ln 2010 more than 470 people, representing 41 organizations, participated in the West Suburban CROP Walk and raised $75,020. Twenty-five percent of the money raised went to nine local agencies:
Since the start of our efforts we have raised more than $1,000,000.00 to help alleviate hunger. We can be very proud of that history!
We hope that you will join us.