ATTLEBORO — More than 70 people gathered at LaSalette Shrine on Sunday for Attleboro’s 30th annual CROP Hunger Walk, which is expected to raise over $5,000.
It is also the 50th anniversary of the nationwide CROP Hunger Walk, which is known as the “granddaddy” of charity walks.
“It’s a simple way of raising money,” said John Fisk, one of the coordinators for the walk in Attleboro. “It’s helping the poorest of the poor who are facing extreme hardship.”
The three-mile walk, which took just over an hour, began and ended at the shrine. The walk took participants through the neighborhoods along Maple, Park, Cummings and George streets.
The route continued past Sturdy Memorial Hospital and City Hall, back down O’Neil Boulevard and past Brook Haven Estates.
Tara Tetreault and her 12-year-old son Evan of North Attleboro were among the first participants to finish, as they alternated between walking and running on the route.
It was the sixth year Tetreault has been part of the CROP Hunger Walk and her son’s second.
“I like to be outdoors, and I really feel strongly about the need to help our community,” Tetreault said.
Not far behind the Tetreaults were Bruce and Donna Carpenter of Attleboro, who have been a part of the event for 12 years.
“Raising the awareness (for hunger) is probably the best thing about it,” Bruce Carpenter said. “As we used to say, ‘We walk because they walk.’”
Carpenter worked with his sister, Pam Tarallo, who is the program administrator for Food N’ Friends, to change the event’s route from the neighborhoods around Capron Park to the current path.
This route, Carpenter said, takes the walk’s participants through the “outskirts” of the city where people are most in need.
The Carpenters have been involved with the CROP Hunger Walk for years, both as board members and volunteers.
“It’s been more than volunteering — it’s a learning experience,” Bruce Carpenter said. “I’ve learned compassion.”
Even with the absence of Bishop Feehan High School, which was not part of the walk this year due to another event, CROP Hunger Walk treasurer Laura Nichols and other event coordinators were still encouraged by the turnout.
“It’s a deficit, but a lot of nice people came out,” Nichols said.
Twenty-five percent of the event’s proceeds benefit the Food N’ Friends program, which is part of the Attleboro Area Interfaith Collaborative.