For most Americans, food is often no farther away than the refrigerator. But for people in the developing world, getting something to eat or drink can require walking miles a day.
Those are the people on Josiah Myers’ mind every year as he undertakes the annual CROP Hunger Walk, in which participants walk miles as part of fundraising efforts to feed the world’s hungry.
Myers, 12, has been participating in the walk since he was 4, becoming the star fundraiser of the Littleton chapter — now called the Foothills CROP Walk.
This year, he brought along some friends: his fellow Boy Scouts of Troop 36, who trudged five miles up Waterton Canyon on Oct. 24 to recognize struggles faced by people far less fortunate — with several of the boys carrying gallon water jugs to symbolize how far people in the developing world must walk for clean water.
“So many people in the world face hardships and hunger, and it’s easy for people who have food to forget,” Myers said. “I’m just trying to do what I can for them.”
The CROP walk, which stands for Community Response to Overcome Poverty, dates to 1947, when it started as an effort to send seeds and farming supplies to war-ravaged Europe. Managed by the Church World Service, the annual walk-a-thon raises money for local, national and international food relief efforts.
“This problem is global, but also very much local,” said Megan Rudolf, who coordinates the Foothills chapter with her sister Michelle. “We have people in our city who are homeless. We have kids going hungry.”
Rudolf said Myers is consistently a top fundraiser for the group, and this year she challenged him to raise $5,000. She lined up a matching grant of $2,500, meaning Myers was on the hook for the other half. He was at $1,730 by the time the walk started, and had until Nov. 10 to raise the rest.
The money, Rudolf said, will go to help a variety of groups, including some that combat hunger locally including the Action Center, Love INC and Sharing with Sheridan.
Myers has a consistently giving spirit, said his mom Kim Myers — he came up with the idea to keep chickens and sell their eggs to raise money for an Ethiopian child he sponsors.
“I’m just really thankful to have so many people walking with me this year,” Myers said. “It means a lot, and hopefully it means something to hungry people too.”