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Saint Peter’s Holds 30th Annual International CROP Hunger Walk

Jersey City, N.J. – On Saturday, October 24, 2009, Saint Peter’s College will host its 30th annual Church World Service CROP Hunger Walk in honor of Fr. Joseph Kelly, S.J., who passed away in December 2008. A founding member of the local CROP Walk at Saint Peter’s in 1979, Fr. Kelly served as a campus minister at the College for more than 20 years, counseling students and providing retreats, seminars, masses and workshops to enhance their personal growth.

The CROP Walk is an interfaith hunger-education and fundraising event that helps to support grassroots, hunger-fighting development efforts around the world. More than five million people have participated in more than 36,000 CROP Hunger Walks throughout the last two decades.

Each CROP Walk group can choose to return up to 25 percent of the funds that it raises to local hunger-fighting programs. Saint Peter’s will donate its portion to College-sponsored “Midnight Runs,” which distribute food, clothes and toiletries to homeless individuals in New York City, as well as to local soup kitchens.

The first CROP Walk sponsored by Saint Peter’s College was on November 17, 1979. At this time, Fr. Kelly, who was serving as the director of Campus Ministry, recruited more than 250 members of the College and local community to participate in the event, as well as pledge over $5,000.

When the CROP organization was first initiated in 1947, CROP was an acronym for the Christian Rural Overseas Program. Its primary mission was to help Midwest farm families share their grain with neighbors in post-World War II Europe and Asia. In more recent years, it stood for Communities Responding to Overcome Poverty; today, CROP is the official name of the hunger walk, but not as an acronym.

Beginning at 9:30 a.m., those participating in Saint Peter’s CROP Walk will walk five miles to and from Exchange Place. Registration begins at 9:00 a.m. at the corner of Montgomery Street and Kennedy Boulevard on the College’s campus. For more information, contact Erich Sekel, assistant director of campus ministry for Saint Peter’s College at esekel@spc.edu or (201) 761-7395.

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Saint Peter’s College, founded in 1872, is a Jesuit, Catholic college in the liberal arts tradition located in the heart of Jersey City, N.J., with a branch campus in Englewood Cliffs, N.J., and course offerings on the Jersey City Waterfront and at various corporate sites throughout New Jersey. Educating over 3,000 undergraduate and graduate students in more than 50 programs, Saint Peter’s College is committed to academic excellence and individual attention, preparing students for a lifetime of learning, leadership and service in a diverse and global society.