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Inmates walk to help the hungry

October 15, 1997

By MARLO BARNHART

Staff Writer

Inmates participating in Tuesday's CROP walk at the Washington County Detention Center said that, despite being behind bars, they wanted to do their part to help feed the hungry.

"I believe in causes like this because I'm a Christian," said Cathy Allen, one of the inmates who walked a five-mile course within a fenced exercise yard at the jail Tuesday afternoon.

The goal of the 19 walkers was to raise $50 each to add to what is raised Oct. 19 in the CROP walk in Hagerstown, according to Terri Blair, supervisor of the work release/addictions unit at the jail.

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"This all began with Barb Foster, who teaches parenting classes here through the Washington County Health Department," Blair said.

Foster had had experience with CROP walks in Ohio and she got the ball rolling for a walk at the jail with inmates as walkers.

"So far I've gotten about nine sponsors but I want to have at least one per walker," Foster said. "I need more businesses, church groups and agencies to help out with pledges."

CROP, which stands for Christian Rural Overseas Program, is affiliated with Church World Service.

The money raised in CROP walks across the U.S. - held on or about World Food Day on Oct. 16 - goes to CWS but a fourth comes back to the communities where the money is raised.

In Washington County, CROP money comes back to Community Action Council and the Washington County Council of Churches for emergency food relief.

William Hungerford proudly wore a CROP T-shirt and carried a CROP sign while he walked around the compound.

"It's to help kids and that's what it's all about," Hungerford said.

Eddie Grove said he works in the kitchen at the jail and he hates to see food wasted. "This is something I can do for a good cause," Grove said.

Kimberly Massie echoed that sentiment, saying she was glad to help.

In the spirit of no contribution being too small, Patricia Peck said she too was happy to walk for a good cause.

"And it's something I can do, even in here," Peck said as she walked.

Ralph Metzer said he was walking because it is "good for hungry people."

Foster said her enthusiasm for the walk at the jail was mirrored by the participants.

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