Grand Marshal for 2016 Walk

Doug Wyman and Barbara

The Planning Committee has selected a Grand Marshal for the 2016 CROP Hunger Walk. The person we selected is a tireless member of our team and more importantly an activist on the issue of hunger and homelessness. Shown here with his wife Barbara, they continue their 65+ years of marriage and commitment to one another.

Doug Wyman has helped the CROP Hunger Walk for the past 10 years.  He started as a crossing guard and elevated his role on the team to raise money from businesses in the area. He is consistently a top fund raiser for the walk. His positive attitude affects all team members for raising money.  He believes in lofty goals which can be achieved.  Our goal of raising $100,000.00 this year is one he championed, just as he continues to champion the issue of hunger and homelessness. To hear his story of how he become involved, listen to his story recorded in 2014.

As if that is not enough at the tender age of 87, years old he is the co-host of The Doris Davenport Show with Doug Wyman, heard locally on 1490 AM WPNA on Sunday nights from 6:30 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. To see some of the programs go to their archive to see videos of past programs.

Doug and Doris

He has also volunteered with the Housing Forward.  “I think I bring a sense of history and some wisdom to the program,” he said. His work at PADS for the last 20 years shows his heart and character for people in need or food and shelter.  Here is a video he did for them several years ago.  What he says, still holds true

You can now see why he was selected as the Grand Marshal for the 2016 CROP Hunger Walk.

Join Doug Wyman on Sunday, May 1st at the start of the 33rd annual CROP Hunger Walk.

Sign up and walk with Doug and hundreds of people walking with the goal of “ending hunger one step at a time.”



Hunger Effects Education

We are a society that seeks to have the brightest kids in our school system. We want to nurture them with knowledge, to help them learn and grow. There are, however, things that impact the ability to learn. One of them is food. 3 out of 4 public school teachers say that students regularly come to school hungry. 81% say it happens at least once a week, according to No Kid Hungry. Educators agree that kids need to start the day with a healthy breakfast in order to do well in school. But though nearly every school offers breakfast, 50% of teachers still say the problem has increased.

Many of the people who are on the CROP Hunger Walk committee and those who walk, have seen the impact of the lack of food for children.  I’ve been to a PADS evening to make food and feed the people who seek out food and shelter for the night. The work that  Housing Forward, one of the 7 agencies we support, does in providing shelter, called PADS Shelter, which accommodates 43-70 individuals nightly, depending on location. A lottery system is used when there are more clients than beds available. On some nights people are turned away for the shelter they seek. Each night, usually a church, houses people seeking food and shelter.  This is all done by volunteers who have a sense of giving to people in need.

Among that group of people are families with children seeking these services. I have seen their faces and their eyes looking forelorn. The meals that are provided may be the only food they have for the day.

The CROP Hunger Walk’s mission is to spread the word on the issue of hunger and in so doing, raising money for this cause.  Distributed locally, 25% of the total raised, and 75% to the work that Church World Service does in the United States and around the world.

Please join us Sunday, May 1st for the 33rd Annual CROP Hunger Walk.  Sign up here and make yourself known for helping in this cause.

Have a story about hunger, please share with us by using the reply section below.

Business Support for The CROP Hunger Walk April 21st

Businesses are an important part of the giving to the CROP Hunger Walk.  In our area we have a large number of businesses who support our walk and contribute to it.  Some contribute by offering a percentage of their sales that customers can designate to benefit our walk.

Such is the case of Ten Thousand Villages in Oak Park. This April 21, 2016, Ten Thousand Villages has a Shopping Day for our supporters, donors and volunteers. We receive 15% of the sales from customers who tell us they are shopping for our cause.  Ten Thousand Villages states: “As a nonprofit organization ourselves, we understand the giving situation as well as how members value a fun, easy way to support your cause.”

All sales made that day will designate 15% to our walk.  All a customer has to do is tell the clerk on check-out that they wish to designate their purchase toward the CROP Hunger Walk. It’s that simple and everyone benefits from their purchase.

Please support our local businesses and mention The CROP Hunger Walk when you visit them.  Please let us know about your experience in supporting local business who support us.

Co-Chair To Speak on The Doris Davenport Show

T&J CROP PhotoWe have been busy telling you about the issue of hunger and the CROP Hunger Walk Sunday May 1, 2016 on our social media platforms, including this blog. Our last blog give a detailed overview of the Doris Davenport Show with Doug Wyman, also a planning team member of the CROP Hunger Walk.

One of the things that makes the walk successful is the work that the planning committee does on behalf of the walk.  Organizing people, dates, places and events, along with many other things that make the walk run smoothly.  Soliciting volunteers and working with them to make the walk a fun and worthwhile event with our tag line of “Ending Hunger One Step At A Time” is a goal of theirs and all the team members.

Joanne Despotes co-chair and Ted Despotes Treasurer, have worked tirelessly to make the walk run smoothly.  They are doing all of the things they can, along with other team members, to make this walk the event that it is.

This week-end, Sunday, April 10, 2016 from 7:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. you can hear Joanne and Ted talk about the evolution of the walk, now in our 33rd year.  Please remember that over these 33 years the CROP Hunger Walk has raised over 1.3 million dollars.

You can tune in to The Doris Davenport Show, 1490 AM or a live stream.

Promo Flyer April 10

Join us on Sunday, May 1, 2016 by signing up today.

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Local Radio Show Features CROP Walk


Doris Davenport Show Mar 13 2016
CROP Hunger Walk: Hunger Series Featured
The Doris Davenport Show” with Doug Wyman
According to Share Our Strength and the Greater Chicago Food Depository, in Illinois, 1,833,810 people (14.2%) are food insecure. That is one in seven, meaning they are at risk of hunger and lack access to adequate access to the food they need to lead healthy, active lives. 661,950 children (21.6%) are food insecure. That’s one in five. Nearly 842 million people are suffering from hunger in the world and hunger causes the deaths of about 5 million children each year, according Catholic Relief Services.
The issue of hunger is one we talk about on a regular basis as we get ready for the CROP Hunger Walk on May 1, 2016.  We are delighted to be featured on “The Doris Davenport Show” with Doug Wyman in a six-part series on hunger. Jon Skogen, Senior Community Engagement Specialist at Church World Services has kicked-off the series on March 13, 2016.  Jon has been our liaison for the CROP Hunger Walk for many years and has a wealth of knowledge on the subject.
The Doris Davenport Show, “All Local All The Time,” is our 2016 media sponsor. The radio program is broadcast live every Sunday evening at 7:00PM on 1490 AM WPNA Radio from the top of the Oak Park Arms. With a reach of over 1.5 million people throughout the Chicagoland area, the sponsorship enables the CROP Hunger Walk to educate a broad audience on the various aspects of the  hunger problem in the United States as well as its local impact.
Over a six weeks period, CROP Hunger Walk experts, advocates and others committed to ending hunger will join co-hosts Doris Davenport and Doug Wyman in the WPNA studio. These CROP Hunger Walk representatives will provide important facts about the many aspects of hunger today. In this weekly awareness segment they will dispel myths and describe the needs of our fellow citizens both here and around the world who are suffering from hunger.
To learn more about the radio program and co-hosts Doris Davenport and Doug Wyman, link to the Wednesday Journal cover story which highlights impressive details about these two Oak Park dynamic personalities.
Doris’ co-host, Doug Wyman, is a friend and part of the annual CROP Hunger Walk leadership committee. He has logged countless hours over many years volunteering, both as a leader and a server with Housing Forward and the CROP Walk. It was his lovely wife Barbara who first introduced him to the plight of hunger in their local community. Sponsoring the CROP Hunger Walk was an easy decision for Doris. “Doug has recruited me to raise funds for the CROP Hunger Walk the past two years. When I heard him preparing for this year’s walk, I surprised him with an announcement that The Doris Davenport Show would be happy to provide a full media sponsorship. As a faithful Catholic, it provides both of us an opportunity to support Pope Francis’ campaign calling on all Catholics to intensify efforts to end hunger around the world.”
Over the past few weeks and coming weeks the Doris Davenport Show will keep the topic of hunger front and center with guests covering topics ranging from public policy; social issues; academia; education; distribution; religious perspectives; recipient needs and more.
Click here for a link to the show where you can hear it live on Sundays from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. CST.
We hope you all have a chance to listen and learn more about the issues. If you have comments, please fill out the form below and don’t forget to join and sign up for the walk, just follow this link.


2016 Walk Route

2016 Map Route

The 2016 Hunger Walkathon West (HWW) 2016 Walk Route will take walkers through the Austin community of Chicago and Oak Park.   The commitment of the local CROP Hunger Walk to the community of Austin is not new. Since its origins 33 years ago, HWW has provided funding for Austin area hunger fighting agencies, most recently the Pine Avenue Food Pantry and Cluster Tutoring Program. Many participants from the Austin community help make HWW a success year after year and the route has included Austin in prior years as well.

In 2015 Hunger Walkathon West raised over $70,000 and was the 11th highest money raising Walk in the country.   We want to raise $100,000 this year. Hunger continues to be a problem for our neighbors next door and around the world. HWW provides funds for other local area agencies including the OPRF, Forest Park, Proviso and Quinn Center Food Pantries as well as Housing Forward and the international relief and development programs of Church World Service.

For more information please go to the HWW website or signup directly now.

Want to leave us a message?  Fill out the form below and thank you for your support.

Your Steps Make a Difference

Crop Walk Check Presentation 2016

A sandwich shop owner in Forest Park said that he doesn’t buy all his vegetables from one vendor. By “not putting all his eggs in one basket,” so to speak, if one vendor goes out of business, he already has another in place who can take up the slack. If one starts providing less than acceptable produce, he has an alternative.

The CROP Hunger Walk known as Hunger Walkathon West—centered in Oak Park, River Forest, Forest Park and Austin—gave Housing Forward a check for $3,000 in 2015, which was especially helpful since the gridlock in Springfield over the budget has prevented the PADS emergency shelter program from receiving $38,000, which is 22 percent of its annual budget.

The gift from CROP is less than 10% of the revenue shortfall, but its significance is important. If Housing Forward put all its eggs in the basket called the State of Illinois or the Federal Government, its revenue stream could be affected in major ways. The CROP Walk donates 25% of the money it raises on the first Sunday of every May to local agencies like Housing Forward, which allows the agency to diversify its funding, so that when one stream dries up, others can help fund the work until other sources are found or the dried up stream starts flowing again.

What’s more, the diversification of funding makes both Democrats and Republicans happy, because it combines sources of revenue from both the public and private sectors.

The PADS program is made possible by 1000 volunteers. The CROP Walk involves 400 walkers. Who is right: the Republicans who want the government to remain small or the Democrats who want the government to do even more?   When Springfield (aka Madigan and Rauner) get its act together, the funding for PADS will back where it should be: i.e., some eggs in the government basket and some in the one called private citizens and foundations.

By Tom Holmes

Join us on the walk on May 1, 2016 to continue the work to assist people here and around the world.  Sign-up today, click this link.