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Join the Jewish Community of Louisville Hunger Walk team

Join the Jewish Community of Louisville Hunger Walk team

36th annual eventstarts at 2:15 September 15 at Waterfront Park’s Festival Plaza

The 36th annual Hunger Walk, organized by Dare to Care Food Bank and Interfaith Paths to Peace and presented by Aramark, will be held Sunday, September 15. The Hunger Walk will begin at 2:15 pm at Waterfront Park’s Festival Plaza.

The 5K (3.1 miles) route for walkers and runners follows a flat, out-and-back course along Louisville’s riverfront. The route will be enhanced by entertainment including live music and spirit teams.

A Hunger Walk Family Festival, 12-4:30 p.m. that day at Festival Plaza, will bring added excitement to event. The Festival will include the Stampede Against Hunger Obstacle Course provided by the Stampede Series, a Kids Zone by KaZoing with inflatables, the Bubble Bus and more. There will also be musical entertainment, free food and refreshments, and food available for purchase from four of Louisville’s finer food trucks.

Aramark returns for the fourth straight year as the Hunger Walk’s presenting sponsor. Other major sponsors include Kroger, Yum! Brands, Ford Motor Company and Fifth Third Bank.

Kentuckiana’s rise in hunger has caught the attention of local faith leaders. Local leaders of several faiths, including Roman Catholic Archbishop Joseph Kurtz and Jewish Community of Louisville representative Matt Goldberg, are uniting to call on their congregations and the entire community to support this year’s Hunger Walk. Terry Taylor, Interfaith Paths to Peace executive director, said: “We in the faith community do not often come together to publicly address an issue, but we stand together now to call upon everyone in the Louisville area to face and overcome a foe that threatens the greater Louisville area. That foe is the specter of hunger.”

“Community service and feeding the hungry are core Jewish values,” said Jessica Goldstein, the Jewish Community Relations Council’s 2013 Hunger Walk chair. “Jewish Family & Career Services’ Food Pantry (a Dare to Care affiliate) has seen an increase in demand year after year for several years now, and it is likely that trend will continue.

“With the future of the funding for the SNAP program (Food Stamps) in such immediate peril, supporting food banks is more important than ever,” she continued.

The Jewish community was among the Hunger Walk’s founders, and has always been one of its strong supporters. “This is an honorable legacy. We can be proud of our past participation and we want to continue it,” Goldstein said.

“This year’s Hunger Walk is the day after Yom Kippur,” she continued. “It’s hard not to think of the symbolism. Think about how hard it is to be hungry for one day by choice.” Now consider how hard it is to be hungry more often because you have no choice.

Goldstein was one of the participants in the JCRC’s Food Stamp Challenge last January. With just $31.50 per person to spend on food for an entire week, she observed, “many of us were hungry a lot. And when you’re that hungry, you can’t think straight. You can only think about there the next meal will come from.”

Chairing this year’s Hunger Walk for the JCRC, with help from last year’s chair, Leon Wahba, was the logical next step for her.

She urges members of the Jewish community to sign up as part of the Jewish Community of Louisville team.

Registration is $25 for adults and $15 for youth 18 and under. With online registration, individuals can also seek their own sponsors to increase their impact on the fight against hunger. Registration and more information is available at www.thehungerwalk.org.

Dare to Care Food Bank and Interfaith Paths to Peace organize The Hunger Walk, which was Louisville’s first public issue walk. The Walk evolved from the faith community’s public unity after the 1969 death from hunger of a nine-year-old boy in Louisville on Thanksgiving Eve. That movement led to the beginning of Dare to Care over 40 years ago and grew into a movement that formed The Hunger Walk in 1978.

Over 2,500 people attended the 2012 Hunger Walk, raising more than $100,000 to fight hunger. The majority of the proceeds go to Dare to Care and other local hunger relief agencies, including JFCS’s Food Pantry, to fight hunger locally. A smaller portion goes to other relief efforts.

Dare to Care Food Bank is a local nonprofit agency with a mission to lead the community to feed the hungry and conquer the cycle of need. In the past twelve months, Dare to Care distributed over 13 million meals to nearly 200,000 different people in eight Kentucky and five Indiana counties. Dare to Care also operates 14 Kids Cafes in neighborhood afterschool locations and Backpack Buddy weekend nutrition programs in 36 Kentuckiana elementary schools.

For more information and to register, visit www.daretocare.org.

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