Walking alone in the fight against hunger

By Daina Havens
April 19, 2007

“Let’s walk!” reverberated amid the enthusiastic audience that gathered Saturday, April 14 at Elkins Oval Park in front of the Philadelphia Art Museum steps.

After some free juice and snacks provided by Sodexho, the first-time leading sponsor of the event, a quick group warm-up and some pre-walk entertainment, the massive group took off on their six-mile stroll in solidarity with those who suffer from hunger in Philadelphia.

The annual Walk Against Hunger in Philadelphia raises money for The Greater Philadelphia Coalition Against Hunger, while advocating for the fight against hunger to the hundreds of drivers zipping by on the Schuylkill.

A feeling of positive energy overwhelmed me from my feet, swiftly walking along Martin Luther King Drive, to the smile on my face that I was sharing with people from all walks of life who were walking as one.

However, I walked alone as team-captain of the Cabrini College team. Accompanied solely by my two non-Cabrini student roommates, I was left stranded to make a stand against hunger that day on behalf of the mission-oriented college that we call home.

Despite the fact that there were a few that showed interest, but backed out for personal reasons and there were a few with very important prior commitments, I still walked alone.

An ad for participating in the walk flashed on screens around campus for three weeks prior to the event, accompanied by flashy glittered posters that hung around the campus walls.

Either those traditional methods of communication on campus proved to be ineffective, or maybe we’re just not interested enough as a whole in these pressing local and world issues.

According to philabundance.org, “More than 600,000 Delaware Valley residents live below the federal poverty line, and so are at risk for hunger and chronic malnutrition.” And “of these Delaware Valley residents, more than 200,000 are children.”

This was my second walk against hunger, which served as one of my duties as Cabrini’s 2007 co-chair of the Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Campaign, my duty as a concerned citizen and my ambition to form good habits of action as a young adult graduating in May.

Sodexho’s general manager at Cabrini College, Drew Niemann, fully supported the idea of students walking for this cause. He made it possible to have walk T-shirts donated to the walkers for a small donation fee of five dollars.

Too bad no one wanted to walk.

However, the abundance of T-shirts will be sold around campus in an attempt to salvage the point of this event and raise some more money to battle hunger in Philadelphia.

Five dollars will buy you a brand new T-shirt that you can wear to show your support of the cause, and it will buy someone else the opportunity to eat.

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Daina Havens

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