Bill Melton won’t be walking the trail for the Snoqualmie Valley CROP Hunger Walk this weekend.
But he will be on the sidelines, cheering on local walkers as they march against hunger.
Melton helped found the current incarnation of the local Hunger Walk, and he wouldn’t miss this for the world.
“It has been, as you know, a labor of love for a lot of people,” Melton explains.
What’s this walk?
The 2013 Hunger Walk begins at 12:45 p.m. Sunday, May 19, at Meadowbrook Farm, 1711 Boalch Ave., North Bend.
The day includes a potluck meal and choir concert hosted by Harley Brumbaugh and the Snoqualmie Valley United Methodist Church choir. But the main event is the walk, in which locals march for donations and sponsorships.
Twenty-five percent of the proceeds go to a local cause, the Mount Si Food Bank. Seventy-five percent is donated to Church World Service, a relief organization that provides emergency food and clean water to refugees, immigrants and vulnerable people in the developing world.
Since its beginning, the Hunger Walk has raised more than $51,000 of which almost $13,000 has come back to the food bank.
Starting the event
Bill and Lyn Melton started a local CROP Hunger Walk tradition 10 years ago. Twenty-year congregation members of Snoqualmie United Methodist Church, they were part of a Snoqualmie United Methodist Church group that traveled to Bellevue for a Methodist-organized walk in that Eastside city.
In 2004, the first Valley walk was held.
From one church’s involvement, it’s grown into four.
“Little by little, we went all around the community,” drawing in first the congregation of St. Clare Episcopal Church, then Our Lady of Sorrows Catholic Church, then Mount Si Lutherans.
“One church cannot do it and be successful,” said Lyn Melton. “The ecumenical spirit is what grew into the whole thing.”
But while churches have always been the base for the walk, you don’t have to be a member to take part and help families here and abroad.
It’s a community effort, says Lyn Melton, and newcomers and families are welcome, as are their leashed dogs.
“It’s a family event, and it’s wonderful,” says Lyn.
Bill Melton said the Hunger Walk was chosen because “we could choose the charity” in the Valley to help.
“The food bank in North Bend is the heart,” Melton says.
When the walkers made the rounds through Snoqualmie, passersby could see their signs and placards.
“You get a much better show, going around the town,” says Bill. But Meadowbrook Farm is closer to North Bend, allowing for a more inter-Valley feel this year.
The walk drew 140 people in 2011, 125 at last year’s rainy day.
“Rain does not put a damper on it, at all,” says Lyn. “We’ve had at least four walks when it poured…. A sunny day is just icing on the cake.”