Group walks to raise hunger awareness

CNJ staff photo: Kevin Baird Darrel Underwood, left, and Cornelius McDaniel walk down 21st Street on Saturday during the Trinity Lutheran Church Communities Responding to Overcome Poverty walk. Underwood, who is a pastor at Servants Heart Chapel, said he was participating to show solidarity and also raise awareness about the problems in the nation and the world.

CNJ staff photo: Kevin Baird
Darrel Underwood, left, and Cornelius McDaniel walk down 21st Street on Saturday during the Trinity Lutheran Church Communities Responding to Overcome Poverty walk. Underwood, who is a pastor at Servants Heart Chapel, said he was participating to show solidarity and also raise awareness about the problems in the nation and the world.

By Emily Crowe
CNJ staff writer
ecrowe@cnjonline.com

It was a beautiful Saturday afternoon for a walk, though several Clovis residents set out with more than just a casual stroll in mind.

The group walked nearly 3 miles to raise awareness about hunger as part of a national event called CROP walk, which stands for Communities Responding to Overcome Poverty.

Clovis residents have been involved with the walk since 2008, when Trinity Lutheran Church Pastor Bonita Knox became involved.

“Globally, we know that people walk for food, water and shelter about 6 to 7 miles,” she said. “That means in Clovis, people are walking. They are walking to seek the resources that they need.”

As Knox explained to the group, “We walk because they walk.”

Food and money collected from the event will benefit both the Food Bank of Eastern New Mexico and Church World Service, a national cooperative of churches that provides self-help, development, disaster relief and refugee assistance around the world.

“In 2007 when we had our tornado, it was CWS (with) boots on the ground immediately,” Knox said. “They’re just making sure everything’s in order and all is well resource-wise. I remember CWS blankets that they gave to the (Clovis) tornado victims.”

Debbie Montoya, shelter manager at Lighthouse Mission, said her organization relies totally on the local food bank to help feed homeless and struggling individuals in Clovis.

Montoya said proper access to food is an extremely important issue in the local community.

“I see the value of making people aware,” said Melissa Underwood, whose husband Darrel is the pastor at Servant’s Heart Chapel. “I didn’t know that people walked 6 miles on average. I do it for fun.”

“You pray that over the years you get the word out that this is kind of important,” Knox said. “Because it’s not just you. This is the whole world linking hands together and serving.”