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Salt Lake groups join in journey to end world hunger

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SALT LAKE CITY — More than 150 people from different church groups and faiths turned walking around Liberty Park Sunday into a journey to end hunger with the CROP Hunger Walk.

"We walk with God in our relationship with God, but we also walk with each other and we walk with those who are hurting and those who are hungry and those who need help," said Rev. Emily Ewing of the Christ the King Lutheran Church. "Today we are walking (for) families who are hungry, who need help."

Ewing and the other participants walked three laps around the park to raise money for hunger worldwide as well as in the Salt Lake Valley.

Twenty-five percent of the proceeds from Sunday's event will go to the Family Promise Salt Lake and the Crossroads Urban Center. As of Sunday afternoon, $3,785 had been raised on the CROP Hunger website.

"We're walking because people across the world have to walk to get their water, to get their food," said Kathleen Zwanziger, treasurer of the CROP Hunger Walk.

Zwanziger said she was thrilled with the turnout Sunday.

"I have seen poverty in a few different countries and I think we can help," she said.

According to the Utah Food Bank, one in six Utahns, and one in five children are unsure where their next meal will come from. Almost 500,000 Utahns risk missing one meal every day.

Sylvia Gray said being able to serve and give back means a lot to her. Especially because she feels she personally owes an "amazing debt" to the Crossroad Urban Center.

As she walked around the park, she recounted living in a condemned building with her daughter in 1971. She said it was through the Crossroad Urban Center and special arrangements with the city and the health department that she was able to stay in the building for another year.

Gray is just one example of the help the Crossroad Urban Center gives the community.

Michael Tragakis said the walk Sunday was a great reminder of all he has.

"I feel like we're so lucky in the United States," he said. "We often take things for granted, for sure we take our food and good water for granted."

Sunday's event was an opporunity for him to take time out of his day to honor people who struggle more for the things so easily obtained in this country, and connect with others fighting for the same cause.

"I feel like it's a reminder (of) what's important and how lucky we are," he said. "And kind of what we need to be doing. I think there's a lot of stuff to change in the earth."

Rev. Ewing said it is important to her and her church that everyone is fed.

"As Lutherans that's part of what we do is, share God's good news," she said. "And sometimes that's bread for people who are hungry."

Email: eeagar@deseretnews.com