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Sep 23, 2020

Join the Virtual Red Bank CROP Hunger Walk This October

By Lori Draz

On Sunday, Oct. 18, hundreds of dedicated people will help the hungry by participating in the Red Bank CROP Hunger Walk. Funds support 15 local food banks and support global relief efforts to improve lives with clean water access, better basic sanitation, education and skill training.

For the first time in its 40-year history, the Red Bank CROP Hunger Walk will be a virtual event, due to current COVID-19 restrictions about the size of public gatherings, but that hasn’t dimmed the enthusiasm at all.

Individuals and teams from churches, organizations and schools are working to help the Red Bank CROP Hunger Walk reach this year’s goal of $110,000. And you can join in the event by walking, donating to a participant or organizing a food drive to collect core food items, rice, beans, peanut butter and soup, which you can drop off or arrange a pick-up from one of the 15 partner charities or a pantry of your choice.

Walk Coordinator Janie Schildge said, “Even though we will miss coming together as a group this year, I am incredibly moved by how enthusiastically and cleverly people are stepping up to make a difference. Our sponsors have been just remarkable, and I cannot thank them enough for their loyalty.”

Some of those clever fundraisers include Fair Haven’s Monica Faett. Faett has been involved since 2013, devoting much time to the banner and poster contest. She realized she doesn’t like asking people for money, so she put a simple post on her FB page. It read, “Jackson, Tino (her dogs) and I are walking 40 miles each week for 10 weeks for a total of 400 miles. I would love it if you can help.” Within hours, donations of all sizes started pouring in.

“I am amazed by the people’s generosity,” Faett said. “I’ve heard from people I haven’t seen in years, made new friends, and I really appreciate all their support of this important cause.” If you would like to support the CROP Walk by making a donation to Faett, visit her Facebook page @monica.faett.

Linda Ensor reports that the International Baccalaureate class of 2021 at Shore Regional High School also wanted to support the local and international communities aided by the 2020 Red Bank CROP Hunger Walk. The class hosted several nights out for parents in the West Long Branch/Oceanport area to allow adults to have dinner out or shop for the holidays. Although these events were free, the students did request donations for CROP Walk, which raised $750 for this special event.

One of the highlights of walk day has been the original ceramic “Empty Bowls” created by Colts Neck artist Mil Wexler Kobrinski. Each year, these unique bowls are sold for $20 with all the sales going toward the cause. These bowls require approximately six different artists to work on each one, which represents the many walkers coming together, and the empty bowl is a clear symbol of the importance of feeding the hungry. This year, there will be no bowls for sale, so Kobrinski came up with a creative solution. She hosted a series of art lectures on Zoom and sold them as a package of four classes for $50, the proceeds of which have been donated to the CROP Walk. The topics covered a wide range of art history topics – everything from Japanese, to Greek, to Gothic. The lecture series attracted a national enrollment, many of whom were accomplished fine artists who offered their own enriching commentaries in each session. Kobrinski will be resuming the lecture series later this year at a date yet to be determined. If you would like a peek at one of the lectures or to learn when the new series begins, email mil_wexler@hotmail.com.

Also returning with virtual mirth will be everyone’s favorite, Shortstop the Clown. If you would like to create your own clever way to get involved, start by visiting RedBankCROPWalk.com. You can also join in a virtual program on Sunday, Oct. 18 and enjoy music, see the food totals and hear some of the partners talk. There might even be some prizes awarded for art, food and funds!

All funds donated to the Red Bank CROP Hunger Walk are shared with 15 local charities like The Center in Asbury Park, Lunch Break, HABcore, Monmouth Day Care Center, Calico Food Pantry, Project Paul, two pantries in Matawan, Keyport Ministerium Pantry, AACC Emergency pantry and others. The other funds are distributed through Church World Service to global partners.

To learn more, see great photos of the 40-year history, organize a team and donate to any of the 60 teams, visit RedBankCROPWalk.com.