WEEDSPORT | The uncooperative weather couldn't stop the fight against hunger.

As showers and dark clouds loomed on Sunday, local supporters came out for an annual event that makes a big difference at their local food pantries.

United Methodist Church again hosted the annual Crop Hunger Walk. Pastor Valerie White kicked off the event with a prayer for those who are suffering will find hope and strength before heading off on foot in support of the cause.

"It's a joy to be here," White said. "We don't have the best weather but it doesn't matter what kind of weather we have, the need to help those who are hungry is always there."

The Crop Walk was one of many across central New York to fight hunger. More than 50 million Americans live in insecure households and crop walks are held annually to combat the problem, White said.

Participants had the option Sunday of walking the one-mile short race or the five-mile long race. Volunteers were hoping to pass last year's donations of $1,300.

Gail Ball, a volunteer for the walk and a member of the Sennett and Brutus food pantry steering committee, has been involved with the event for 20 years, she said.

"We're seeing so many families show up and many more new families coming in," Ball said. "This is a way to bring attention to what we do at the food pantry and to really try to help those who need food. There are a lot more people going without and many people don't realize that."

Ball was one of three volunteers helping with registration on Sunday and she said what keeps her going every year is seeing how many people the food pantry can help.

"I believe in fighting for this cause and I'm here because I want to help those who are hungry," she said.  "We're just trying to help people any way we can."

Staff writer Sistina Giordano can be reached at 282 -2237 or sistina.giordano@lee.net. Follow her on Twitter at CitizenGiordano.

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