The Martha’s Vineyard Crop Walk is traditionally a one-day event, traveling from St. Augustine’s Church in Vineyard Haven to Trinity Methodist Church in Oak Bluffs and back. Although the pandemic made this type of walk impossible this year there was no way organizers were going to press pause on the annual event.

This year’s version of the walk will begin on Oct. 1 and run though Oct. 18. The distance can be whatever anyone wants it to be, the miles adding up over the three-week period.

“We were committed to the physical participation in support of people who are hungry so we created a walk-a-thon for this year,” said Woody Bowman, one of the many organizers of the event. “We invite participants to walk as far as they can in whatever form they can — walk, run, bike, kayak.”

Last year the Vineyard Crop Walk raised over $34,000 for hunger related organizations, both on the Island and internationally. Since they began 29 years ago, the local walks have raised $533,407. The pandemic has only increased hunger-related issues here and around the world, Mr. Bowman said. The Crop Walk in recent years has been set at six miles, the average distance Mr. Bowman said that hungry people around the world have to walk to get food and clean water.

“When the Crop Walk started the distance was 10 miles. So this showed that the fight against hunger had seen some success. But there has been a sharp reversal this year.”

Mr. Bowman plans to walk the trails of Menemsha Hills and report on his progress to seasonal friends who also love that particular hike but can’t be here this year.

“They will be walking at the same time in their neighborhoods and I’ll call them at various points to check in. That has been an unexpected benefit, in that we can invite folks in different places to walk together.”

Mr. Bowman will also be leading what he calls “family walks” during the three-week span.

“I have a fair amount of friends who have young children who have favorite Island places so I will do an alpaca farm walk, a Flying Horses walk.”

Another regular walker, Phil Dietrich, is encouraging seniors, many of whom had stopped participating in the walk along Beach Road due to their age, to look closer to home. Now they can walk in their yards or their neighborhoods at their own pace and time of day, the small sojourns adding up over the weeks to miles and money raised.

“And on the last day, Oct. 18, there will a drive-by car rally at St. Augustine’s Church,” Mr. Bowman said. “Our goal this year is to raise $30,000 for our 30th anniversary.”

For more information, visit