The SUNY Cortland community steps up each October to meet the challenge of raising money to combat world hunger. As the global need continues to increase, students and staff are again invited to participate in the 29th annual Cortland CROP Hunger Walk on Sunday, Oct. 22.
This community event raises significant money for global and domestic disaster relief, agricultural development, refugee resettlement and emergency food aid. The walk begins anytime between 12:30 and 1:30 p.m. at Grace and Holy Spirit Church, 13 Court St.
SUNY Cortland is recognized as one of the top colleges in terms of the number of campus groups involved. Since 2010, the SUNY Cortland community has raised more than $70,000 of the over $140,000 raised in this community. Nationwide more than 1,300 walks took place last year and in 2021-22 and raised almost 24 million dollars.
As worldwide conflicts, COVID-19, climate shocks and global inflation have put more than 345 million people around the world at risk of starvation, organizers of the 29th annual Cortland area CROP Hunger Walk hope to get even more students participating.
With less than a month to get involved, SUNY Cortland History Department lecturer and local CROP walk coordinator Jim Miller is encouraging the community to register online in advance through the local walk's website. In-person sign-up will take place immediately before the walk on Oct. 22 from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. at the church.
The website also allows people who have pledged donations to pay online, a convenience that Miller said helped past year’s record-breaking events. Last year a total of 262 walkers registered and 256 identified themselves as SUNY Cortland students or staff. Of the nearly $12,000 that was raised, about $7,000 or 58%, is attributed to SUNY Cortland. This is the 18th year that SUNY Cortland will be a major factor in the success of the walk, said Miller, who has organized Cortland’s initiative since 2005.
The walk will include one- or three-mile routes starting in downtown Cortland at Holy Spirit Church on Court Street next to the city fire station. All members of the Cortland community — students, SUNY Cortland employees, residents of Cortland and surrounding areas — are encouraged to take part.
The event usually attracts a good turnout from student groups. Miller noted that several sororities, varsity and club sport teams and various other student groups including the COR 101: The Cortland Experience classes he teaches join the competition for one of five Golden Sneaker plaques to be given out for fundraising bragging rights.
As always, 25 percent of the funds raised will return to the local community to support food pantries and feeding programs including the SUNY Cortland Cupboard campus food pantry, Miller said.
The rest of the donations are distributed by Church World Service, a nondenominational coalition of religious organizations that has been holding CROP Hunger Walks all over the world since 1969. The walks raise approximately $20 million each year.
On the campus, there are several Golden Sneaker plaques awarded each year to the SUNY Cortland organizations that raise the most funds. The cost of the plaques is underwritten by the James M. Clark Center for Global Engagement.
For more information, to donate or form a team, visit the Cortland CROP Hunger Walk website.
The university community may contact Miller for more information.