MV CROP Hunger Walk ends with a celebration

A small, enthusiastic crowd gathered on Sunday to celebrate the accomplishments of the Martha’s Vineyard CROP Hunger March, which brought together participants from various religious organizations on the island. People were swinging and chatting as the Convertibles, a Vineyard-based jazz band, played. Drivers also showed up in cars and honked their horns in support.

The 31st Martha’s Vineyard CROP Hunger Walk closing ceremony was held at St. Augustine’s Church in Vineyard Haven. Woody Bowman, one of the organizers of the CROP Walk, led the event.

Under normal circumstances, a group would meet at church to travel to the Oak Bluffs Campground and return, according to organizer Majorie Peirce. However, to protect people from COVID-19, the organizers decided on a smaller-scale rally at the church.

Walkers did their fundraising individually or in small teams of friends and family this year. This was also in an effort to protect participants from COVID, and this is how the march went in 2020. Of the money raised, 25% of the funds will be donated to Island Food Pantry and the Vineyard Committee on Hunger. The remainder of the money will be donated to Church World Services, a nonprofit, multi-faith Christian organization, and used “in the United States and around the world for emergency food supplies, agricultural training, livestock, wells and pumps, farm seeds and farm equipment, ”according to Martha’s Vineyard CROP Hunger Walk page.

Through the online campaign, $ 16,254.79 has been raised so far. In-person donations still need to be counted. Donations will continue to be collected until October 30.

“These marches made a difference,” Bowman said. He expects more donations to arrive in the remaining two weeks.

“Last year… we raised maybe half the money after the celebration,” said Peirce. In 2020, a record amount of $ 37,772 was raised to help fight hunger.

The event organizers also presented prizes to those involved in the march. Bowman presented three awards to recognize “hunger fighters” who have helped support fundraising efforts over the years. Good Shepherd Parish (the collective Catholic organization made up of St. Augustine’s Church in Vineyard Haven, Our Lady Star of the Sea Church in Oak Bluffs, and St. Elizabeth’s Church in Edgartown), was honored for the efforts of its followers to raise funds and carry out activities to fight hunger on the island. The retired Reverend Michael R. Nagle, who has created a base for the march and advanced various programs and activities dealing with food insecurity, was recognized. Finally, the facilities manager of St. Augustine Church, Joe Capobianco, has been appointed; he was instrumental in maintaining relationships with the Boston Food Bank and his efforts to provide food and supplies to those who needed them during the winter were cited. Unfortunately, both people were unable to attend the event to receive their awards.

Certificates were also presented to the walkers, such as a new group of young participants from the Federated Church of Martha’s Vineyard and Martha’s Vineyard Hebrew Center youth group for the largest increase in participants.

The event ended with a prayer from Reverend Paul Fedak of Good Shepherd Parish, thanking everyone who gave their time, talents and efforts to fight hunger.

“No one should really go without food in our country today, or in our world. We ask you, Lord, to send your blessings on them and help them, ”Fedak prayed. “And help us all to love our brothers and sisters, as you love us. ”

For more information on the Martha’s Vineyard CROP Hunger Walk, visit bit.ly/MVHungerWalk21.


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