RECOGNIZING THE CENTRAL OREGON CROP WALK -- (Extensions of Remarks - September 21, 2005)
HON. GREG WALDEN
IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 21, 2005
Mr. WALDEN of Oregon. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to recognize a very special event that is taking place in the heart of the 2nd Congressional District on Sunday, September 25, 2005--the Central Oregon Crop Walk. This weekend, over 125 walkers will gather in Bend, Oregon to raise awareness and funds to fight hunger at home in Central Oregon and in nearly 80 countries around the world.
Since 1998, this gathering has become an annual event in Bend and is now in its 8th year. This Fall, walkers participating in the Central Oregon Crop Walk join Oregonians in four other communities--Baker City, Hood River, Corvallis and Grants Pass--and 1,800 Walks nationwide, to make a real difference toward ending hunger one step at a time. Money raised by walkers in Oregon and around the nation supports Church World Service, an organization of 36 religious denominations united together to relieve poverty and aid in social and economic development. I applaud Oregonians participating in local Crop Walks and am very pleased to see so many faith groups coming together to support food programs that provide relief to families in our community and around the world.
Events like Crop Walks are a vital link in the chain of services--public and private--that provide for the most needy in our Nation and the working poor that struggle to make ends meet each month. There are also several pieces of important Congressional legislation that would move our Nation closer to resolving the challenge of food insecurity and hunger. The Hunger Free Communities Act (H.R. 2717) sets a goal of ending hunger by the year 2015 along with establishing grant programs that would support local food programs and improve the coordination of Federal, State and local nutrition services. The Stop Senior Hunger Act (H.R. 1792), which renews the federal commitment to locally-administered programs like Meals on Wheels and congregate meal programs at local senior centers, is another important component in tackling hunger by targeting the vulnerable senior population. Finally, common sense measures like the Relief Trucking Tax Credit Act (H.R. 1954), which would give transportation and trucking companies a 25-cent/mile tax credit for volunteering trucks and drivers to transfer charitably donated food for hunger relief efforts, will help more food reach those in need. Because hunger is a problem that can take a variety of faces and forms in communities around the country, resolving it requires a variety of approaches. For this reason, I am proud to be a cosponsor of each of these measures and am hopeful that when they are combined with efforts like the Crop Walk that hunger and food insecurity will be a challenge that we overcome once and for all.
I urge my colleagues to support these sound legislative endeavors, and join me in highlighting the outstanding work of participants of Crop Walks occurring throughout Oregon.