Chicago CROP Hunger Walk

About Us

CHICAGO CROP HUNGER WALK HISTORY FOR 37 YEARS & COUNTING

In 2019, the Chicago Crop Walk will switch to a 5K walk after being one of the few 10K (6.2 mile) walks in the country to re-enact the walk millions must make each day for basic water and food.  We still seek to "walk in their footsteps" and share their journey.  The walk requires efort and time, but we want to "walk the walk" for one day and raise awareness to their suffering and sacrifice in a world of mercy and plenty.  We also offer a 'golden mile' walk for those unable to complete the 5K.  We walk because they walk! In 2018, our walk passed through the Loop, Millennium Park, Grant Park and Buckingham Fountain, Lakefront Path around Shedd Aquarium and Soldier Field, and back to historic (176th year) 2nd Presbyterian Church. Light refreshments, bathrooms, and resting areas were available along the way.

CROP Walk kicked off 50 years ago in 1969 and is an outreach program of Church World Service.  The story goes that teens in Bismarck, North Dakota and York County, Pennsylvania decided it was time to do something for families who had to walk miles for food and clean water. So they walked...and took that first step.  CWS began in 1946, in the aftermath of World War II. Seventeen denominations came together to form an agency "to do in partnership what none of us could hope to do as well alone."  Today, there are 37 denomination members.  The mission: Feed the hungry, clothe the naked, heal the sick, comfort the aged, shelter the homeless.

Our mission is to "help end hunger one step at a time" by advocating and funding programs which address the root causes of poverty. Last year's walk raised $45,484 to support global Church World Service programs, as well as five local agencies: A Just Harvest, the Episcopal Hunger Committee, Lakeview Food Pantry, and Second Presbyterian Lunch Bag Program.

The Chicago CROP Walk Planning Committee is actively working on plans for this year's event. If you are interested in being a part of the planning process or have suggestions, please feel free to contact our Walk Coordinator, Aretha Hughes, at chicagocrop@gmail.com or 773-609-0036.

1983
The first "Greater Chicago Hunger Walkathon" was held in conjunction with the Mother's Day Peace March on May 8, 1983. Walkers went a short 22 blocks and raised $10,600.
1984
The "Greater Chicago Hunger Walkathon" came into its own with Mayor Harold Washington as Honorary Chair and lead-off speaker/walker. The Walk was launched in Lincoln Park and was a long 10 miles! Nearly 1000 people walked and raised $26,385.
1985-1988
The GCHW was held the first Sunday of each May from "Cricket Hill" at Montrose Beach Park; during those years the number of walkers ranged from 760 to 1200, and the money raised each year averaged $37,577.
1989
New location and best year ever!! Held in the Humboldt Park and Garfield Park neighborhoods, some 1056 walkers from 82 churches, schools and organizations raised more than $54,000!!
1990
Humboldt Park and Garfield neighborhoods. More than 1000 people raised $51,000. The Walk incorporated a Hunger Run, and drew sponsorships from major corporations, Chicago media, as well as from Mayor Daley who served as the Walk and Run Honorary Chairperson.
1991
Chinatown! and a great walk on May 5th. Recruitment Core Committees brought in many new churches for participation. Over 1,100 walkers raised a record $62,491.00.
1992
The Walk moved from Spring to Fall - October 18th, on the Near West Side beginning at Old St. Patrick's Church. Approximately 825 walkers braved the crisp fall day to raise over $49,000.
1993
New Name! The "Chicago Hunger Walk" took place on October 17th, with step-off at Old St Patrick's Church. Lots of surprises...media sponsors, Jesse White Tumblers, bands, tee-shirts! The Walk raised $55,000.
1994-1996
New location, new excitement...The "Chicago CROP Hunger Walk" started and ended at the Chicago Merchandise Mart, and Executive V.P. of the Mart, Christopher Kennedy was host. The Klingons "invaded" the Walk and became our special "Armada" of workers. The three Mart Walks averaged 1000 walkers/$57,800 each.
1997
The CROP Walk was held at the DePaul Center on State Street. More than 960 walkers raised $60,900. A new record was set by Mother McAuley High School, bringing 393 young women to walk and raising $13,780 of the total!
1998-2000
The Chicago Temple / First United Methodist Church becomes the new CROP Walk home with step-off next door at Miro Plaza. The 1999 Walk set a new record at $65,000 raised, and that total climbed to $73,000 in 2000!
2001
New location on UIC Campus- the gorgeous October Walk Day Drew about 1,000 walkers and raised $78,600.
2002
20th Anniversary Walk. Wow... almost 1000 (984) walkers gathered and raised $66,573.
2003
Gorgeous weather, great Walk! Thanks to 905 walkers and 106 volunteers from 73 different churches, schools, and organizations a total of $67,071.73 was raised to fight hunger.
2004
We had a wonderful Walk but attendance and funds were down. Approximately 650 walkers raised $46,762.00.
2005
Our numbers were down but our energy was high. 595 Walkers raised $45,655.
2006
CROP became "Communities Responding to Overcome Poverty". Chicago walkers raised $64,237 with 685 Walkers.
2007
Chicago celebrated the 25th Anniversary of the Chicago CROP Hunger Walk. This was a record setting year. The event raised $82,430 with 1200 walkers. We ranked #1 in the nation for online giving with $19,679 raised online. This was also the year that Church World Service celebrated the 60th Anniversary of CROP. What a great year! Janet Young retires as CWS Regional Director and Chicago CROP Walk Coordinator since the first Walk in 1983!
2008
The 2008 event had 714 CROP Hunger Walkers and we raised $61,530. We saw a wonderful and exciting increase in youth participation through Service Learning. Chicago Walkers also ranked #1 in the region for online giving a second year in a row! $15,383 in local hunger agency grants were distributed to Chicago hunger agencies.
2009
The 2009 CROP Walk had about 900 walkers and raised $59,870.62. We had the Jesse White tumblers come again to cap the show. The weather was nice, but a little windy in the Windy City.
2010
The 2010 CROP Hunger Walk had over 600 walkers and raised nearly $50,000. It was a gorgeous, breezy day! A special new addition was the beeline items as prizes for walkers and education about how Sweet Beginnings fights hunger here in Chicago. 2010 Walk Team Totals
2011
Ending Hunger- One Step at a Time on October 16, 2011! New 5K route with option of 10K (two laps) or 'Golden Mile'!  About 500 walkers. 2011 Walk Team Totals
2012
30th Anniversary Walk on October 21, 2012!  About 400 walkers and $42,000 raised on a beautiful day with post-walk entertainment by the Marcy Newbery Children's Chorus. 2012 Walk Team Totals
Last year of Walk at UIC and route through West Loop and the downtown Loop: 2012 Walk Route Map
2013
31st Annual Walk on October 20, 2013!  About 300 walkers and about $35,500 raised on a beautiful day with our new location and route starting at St. James Episcopal Cathedral at 65 E. Huron St. 2013 Walk Team Totals ~ here are maps of the new routes: 2013 Walk Route Map 10 Kilometer or 2013 Walk Route Map 2 Mile
2014
32st Annual Walk on October 19, 2014!  About 375 walkers and about $36,500 raised at St. James Episcopal Cathedral at 65 E. Huron St. 2014 Walk Team Totals ~ here are the 10K and 2 Mile maps 2014 Walk Route Map
2015
33rd Annual Walk on October 18, 2015!  About 325 walkers and about $37,500 raised at St. James Episcopal Cathedral at 65 E. Huron St. 2015 Walk Team Totals ~ here are the 10K and 2 Mile maps 2015 Walk Route Map
2016
34th Annual Walk on September 25, 2016!  About 200 walkers and about $35,500 raised at St. James Episcopal Cathedral at 65 E. Huron St. 2016 Walk Team Totals ~ here are the 10K and 2 Mile maps 2016 Walk Route Map and 2016 Chicago CROP Walk Event Poster
2017
35th Annual Walk on October 15, 2017!  About 250 walkers and $45,260 raised at 2nd Presbyterian Church, 1936 S. Michigan Ave. 2017 Walk Team Totals ~ here are the 10K and 1 Mile maps 2017 Walk Route Map
2018
36th Annual Walk on October 14, 2018!  About 200 walkers and $45,484 raised at 2nd Presbyterian Church, 1936 S. Michigan Ave. ~ here are the 10K and 1 Mile maps 2018 Walk Route Map

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Church World Service works with partners to eradicate hunger and poverty and to promote peace and justice around the world.

Recognized as one of America's Most Efficient Charities, Church World Service has earned an A rating from the American Institute of Philanthropy
and was named one of the Top 100 Highly Rated Charities by GiveSpot.com.

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