By Jason Wesseldyk
With demand for its food pantry increasing by roughly 40 percent in the past year, Christian Neighbors remains committed to keeping its shelves stocked.
The 8th Annual PATH Walk for Stabilization is one way to do just that.
Starting and ending at the Otsego United Methodist Church—located at 223 E. Allegan St. in Otsego—the Path Walk is scheduled for 2 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 1.
Walker registration begins at 1:30 p.m. After the walk, hot dogs, chips and ice cream will be provided by the Missions Team of Otsego United Methodist Church and Plainwell Ice Cream.
Dogs are welcome as long as they are on a leash and the owner cleans up any mess left behind.
Donna Doctor is a board member at Christian Neighbors and a past event walker.
“Even though my age keeps me from walking for the PATH Walk, I can walk my neighborhood and collect funds and educate my neighbors on the ministry of Christian Neighbors,” she said. “All of these funds go to purchase food and with prices soaring and meat donations down, these funds are vital for helping feed our neighbors.”
In addition to the food pantry, the stabilization program includes Christian Emergency Financial Assistance and Education Skill-Building programs.
One hundred percent of the proceeds raised from the PATH Walk supports these local services for families and individuals in Plainwell, Otsego and Martin communities.
From January through July of this year, Christian Neighbors has seen 1,244 visits to its pantry as compared to 707 visits for those months in 2022. That marks a 43-percent increase.
The number of people fed is up 37 percent (1,410 to 886) during that same span.
Christian Neighbors lists three ways individuals can help with the PATH Walk:
- Be a recruiter by forming and coordinating a group of walkers at your business, church, school, neighborhood, etc.
- Get friends, family, co-workers to sponsor you as a walker in our event.
- Help us spread the word about the needs at Christian Neighbors and the benefits of the PATH Walk to help with these needs.
Groups and/or individuals can request walker packets by contacting Christian Neighbors development coordinator Eric Hoffman at (269) 685-4166 ext. 100 or by email at email@example.com.
If you are unable to participate in the event but would still like to donate, you can do so by mailing a check to P.O. Box 53, Plainwell, MI, 49080, or by visiting christianneighbors.org.
Sponsoring this year’s PATH Walk along with Christian Neighbors are Boniface Heating & Air Conditioning (Shelbyville), Plainwell Ice Cream (Plainwell) and Otsego United Methodist Church Missions Team (Otsego).