Being the Change

On Sunday, May 1, 2011, 92 Pentucket Regional High School students and their chaperones joined 42,000 other people on the Boston Common to raise money for their hungry neighbors during Project Bread’s annual Walk for Hunger. These students raised $8,167 for Project Bread; Project Bread provides food for 448 emergency food programs in 130 Massachusetts cities and towns. The spectacularly sunny days and cool breezes made for a perfect walking day for the students who tread a total of 1,760 miles. “Long walk: accomplished”, said Julia L., and all the students felt the walk was worth their time and would do it again. The money raised by the students will go to food programs in their local communities. The community service effort put in by the Pentucket high school will help hundreds of people struggling with poverty and the high cost of living.
I have organized and coordinated the students on this walk for the past several years. It takes a lot of time and energy to coordinate, but I do not have the means to personally donate a significant sum of money to such a worthwhile cause. I can, however, bring together people with a common concern and the result is a significant donation. The many students who collected small donations can see how they build when added together and how one person can make a difference. According to Project Bread:

• $25 provides 50 people at a soup kitchen with a bowl of hot soup and a sandwich.
• $100 provides five families with a week’s supply of groceries.
• $200 provides ten families with a hot meal and a week’s supply of groceries.
• $500 helps support a summer food program for low-income children.
The day brought many blisters and sunburns and aching legs to the students, almost all of whom walked the entire 20-mile route. Olivia D. summed up what many of the students were saying with “It was a long physical and mental effort, but it was worth it!” “Definitely worth it not only for the cause but the memories”, added Teresa L. Comments at the end of the day by other walkers included:

• “This was definitely something I am proud to be a part of.” (Kyla S.)
• “Such an inspiring walk for an important cause. Worth every step! Will definitely do again next year!” (Molly M.)
• “I have never done the Walk for Hunger and I’m glad I did. It was a great experience.” (Yasmine A.)
• “I loved the route we took. It was a really nice day” (Kelsey B.)
• “I loved all the support [by people cheering us on].” (Stephanie P.)
• “Participating in this walk really opened my eyes to the reality of Hunger.” (Carolyn B.)
• “It was a life changing experience. “ (Leigh M.)
• “It really was a walk for hunger. I was starving at the end.” (Mike M.)
• “I could have walked more.” (Tom F.)
• “What doesn’t kill you only makes you stronger.” (Jeff F.)
• “Ow.” (Jonathan A.)
• "Lets quadruple the score next year! Next thing you know it Hunger will be nothing but a myth." (Christian M.)
• “Grueling pace.” (Jacob B.)
• “Most fun and exercise I’ve had all year.” (Tyler S.)
• “Ran the last two miles with Angelica.” (Emily D.)
• “Tons of fun.” (Olivia D.)
• “I have too many blisters to count.” (Desere B.)
• “So many sammiches.” (anon.)

Pentucket Regional High School Walk for Hunger Team, May 1, 2011

From the Project Bread press release:
As the economic crisis continues, more and more families are finding it difficult to make ends meet. Project Bread estimates that more than 660,000 people in the state are struggling to put food on the table. The continued high rate of unemployment and expiration of benefits have forced many people to seek food relief for the first time. Last year, Project Bread’s FoodSource Hotline, the only comprehensive hunger resource in Massachusetts, answered 47,000 calls from people in need.

These emergency food programs served over 57 million emergency meals last year to people who had no other place to go. Since 1969, the Walk for Hunger has spurred 1,080,800 Walkers to tread 21,165,800 miles and raise over $81.4 million to help hungry people.

1 comment:

stephanielynn said...

I loved the walk for hunger! miss you!!!:)