Students walk to aid in hunger relief

By Mallory Terrence
April 24, 2008

Megan Pellegrino

On what was supposed to be a rainy morning, the sun shined as hungerwalk participants crossed the finish line. They hoped their six-mile walk would aid the 145,000 poor Philadelphians who are not sure of getting enough food to be healthy.

The Greater Philadelphia Coalition Against Hunger held the 12th annual Walk Against Hunger on Saturday, April 12. Participants gathered in front of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, then walked along Martin Luther King Drive in order to raise money to help struggling families and the feeding programs devoted to helping them.

Meghan McCracken, VISTA Volunteer for GPCAH, said that walking along the river on MLK Drive plays a large role in raising awareness because not only of the walkers, but of the drivers who have to change their route.

“It makes people stop and think about why their usual routine is being interrupted. I don’t mind interrupting someone’s routine if it means they will stop and consider why hunger is still prevalent in our community,” McCracken said in an email.

In November 2007, GPCAH conducted a survey of 198 community-feeding programs and found that 66 percent had to decrease the amount of food dispersed to each person. Thirty-seven percent had to turn people away due to a lack of resources-money, food and equipment.

“The Walk Against Hunger brings thousands of people [3,700 this year] together in solidarity every year. The money raised at the Walk is distributed to organizations throughout southeastern Pennsylvania and southern New Jersey that provide food and services to families and individuals in need,” McCracken said.

In its effort to promote a more just and compassionate society, the Wolfington Center represented the Cabrini community in Philadelphia during the walk. In November 2007, the Wolfington Center extended National Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week to an entire month-long event and has been dedicated to help raise awareness and donations for those in need.

After National Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week, many people tend to forget about those in need. However, months later the Wolfington Center felt compelled to take part in the Walk Against Hunger.

At the three-mile marker, Shannon Keough, a sophomore English and communication major and event coordinator of Poverty Awareness Month, considered taking one of the school buses that were being offered for those who could not complete the walk but ultimately, she decided to continue walking. As she began the next three miles, Keough saw an older woman walking with a cane and found her to be a source of motivation. She felt if that woman could walk six miles, anyone could do it.

With Pennsylvania’s State Food Purchase Program being cut 4 percent in 2007, resulting in a loss of 2.4 million pounds of food, events like The Walk Against Hunger are necessary to guarantee healthy and nutritious meals to the estimated one-in-10 Philadelphia residents who are food insecure.

According to Pennsylvania Hunger Action Center, in October 2007 an estimated 460,000 Pennsylvanians received food assistance through food banks and soup kitchens. The number of households seeking food aid in October 2007 was 2 percent higher than in October 2006 and 9 percent higher than in October 2001.

The Walk Against Hunger is the GPCAH’s main event and the largest fundraiser of the year. The funds raised go towards fighting hunger in the Philadelphia community and promoting hunger awareness.

“We walk, rain or shine, because there are hungry people, rain or shine,” McCracken said.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Mallory Terrence

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Special Project

Title IX Redefined Website

Produced by Cabrini Communication
Class of 2024

Listen Up

Season 2, Episode 3: Celebrating Cabrini and Digging into its Past


Scroll to Top
Share via
Copy link
Powered by Social Snap