More than 70 walkers and volunteers collected 30 bags of groceries and raised more than $6,600 to help stop hunger in the 2012 West Essex CROP Walk for Hunger.
Funds raised through the walk will assist a variety of projects aimed at helping the hungry, both in Essex County and overseas.
Twenty-five percent of the funds from this year’s walk, at least $1,700, will remain in Essex County to support food pantries, supply emergency aid and help those who are less fortunate.
Walkers were greeted by route coordinator Lori Testa, Dr. Marie Varley of Church World Service, Rev. Jeff Markay of Caldwell United Methodist Church and Rev. Patrick Flannery of St. Aloysius Church in Caldwell.
Markay and Varley thanked walkers for their efforts to raise money and help those less fortunate. Rev. Flannery blessed the group before they began the walk, which started and ended at St. Al's.
Top fundraisers were Ed Karpinski ($305), Sara Graceffo ($200) and Nick Grasso ($180).
In addition, volunteers from local churches and schools provided directions, distributed refreshments, and operated checkpoints along the route. The Caldwell Police Dept. and West Essex First Aid Squad were available during the walk.
“The event committee thanks everyone in Essex County for their support and urges any walkers who still have pledges to turn them into their recruiter as soon as possible,” Testa stated in a release.