There is a tradition in Louisville that, while not a formal part of the fall Jewish holidays, has become an essential part of the season – the Community Hunger Walk. This year’s walk will be Sunday, September 27, at 2:15 p.m. in E.P. “Tom” Sawyer Park.
From Rosh Hashanah through Yom Kippur, we look inward and renew our commitment to God and Torah. One of the holiday Torah readings includes God’s instructions to farmers that they must leave the corners of their fields uncut, not pick up grain that falls to the ground after they have gathered it, and not strip their vineyards of all the fruit. That food must be left for the poor.
Today, most of us are not farmers and those of us who do grow food are unlikely to have poor people come to glean in our fields, vineyards or gardens. That however, does not relieve us of our duty to provide food for the poor.
The Community Hunger Walk is a great way to start the New Year by taking action to fulfill the mitzvah of providing food for the poor.
This year’s Hunger Walk not only has a new location, but when you sign up as a member of the Jewish Louisville team, the money you raise will be split equally between Dare to Care and the Jewish Family & Career Services Food Pantry, which is a Dare to Care affiliate.
This year’s walk will cover the park’s one-mile fitness trail loop three times. “It is extremely accessible and beautiful,” said Jessica Goldstein, who is chairing the Jewish Louisville team for the Jewish Community Relations Council. It will be a comfortable route for the wheelchair-bound and anyone who finds other routes challenging. Parking will be in the main lot that serves the indoor tennis facility. There will be plenty of children’s activities and much more.
“It was a difficult decision for Dare to Care to leave their downtown route,” Goldstein explained, but this year, logistics related to the bridge and other construction projects and scheduling conflicts with other downtown events necessitated the change.
“There are at least four ways you can participate,” she continued. “You can form a team yourself – and if you do, we would appreciate it if you would do so under the aegis of the JCL; recruit your friends and family – it is a kid- and family-friendly event; run or walk yourself; and either through social connections or Facebook, announce that you’re doing the Hunger Walk and ask for sponsors.”
Entry fees are $25 for adults or $15 for those 18 and under. If you can’t walk yourself, please consider making a donation in honor of the Jewish Louisville team through Dare to Care.
“One in five children in our community struggles with food insecurity, and the $25 registration fee will provide 100 meals,” she stated.
“Each year, Dare to Care increases the way they support the hungry – serving homebound seniors, children and families who are struggling,” Goldstein said. “Whenever a new need presents itself, they always rise to the challenge, and the only way for that to continue is for donors to rise to the challenge and increase their support. Over the years, the Jewish community has raised more money for the Hunger Walk than any other faith group. “We’d like to see that continue,” she added, “and we’d like to grow it.”
Register online today at thehungerwalk.org.