By Jessica Bruha
The Norman Transcript
NORMAN — Hundreds of people walked the streets of Norman on Sunday in an effort to fight hunger and poverty both locally and globally.
The Cleveland County CROP Walk to Stop Hunger brought out about 600 people, with walk teams ranging from friends and families to businesses and churches. The walk was three miles long, stretching through parts of Norman and the University of Oklahoma campus.
“It looks like we raised a lot of money,” said CROP Walk Chair Karen Buntin. “We haven’t got a for sure count, but it looked like we had close to 600 people.”
Twenty-five percent of CROP Walk proceeds were donated to Norman’s Food and Shelter, which provides emergency housing for homeless families, meals to the hungry and other vital services to those in need.
Walk teams and individuals were asked to bring peanut butter and tuna cans or pouches to be donated to local food pantries as well.
“We had a great food drive for the agencies,” Buntin said, adding they probably passed out about 36 bags of food. Each agency received six bags of food, she said.
CROP, or Communities Responding to Overcome Poverty, is a nationwide, ecumenical effort to raise awareness about the impact of hunger and poverty. The walk was one of more than 2,000 such events taking place across the country this year and has been a part of the community for more than 30 years. It is organized by volunteers from a variety of local faith communities.
Before walkers set off down the streets of Norman, they got to enjoy Norman Public School’s Manyawi World Music Ensemble and a contingent of the Pride of Oklahoma Marching Band. There was also a hot dog cookout and music by DJ Adrian Buendia and Nexus Productions of Norman.
“The snocones were the hit,” Buntin said. “People got those before they got their hot dogs.”
T-shirts they were selling to commemorate the CROP Walk were also a hit. Buntin said they sold nearly all of them.