Essex County food pantries, schools, religious and community organizations will participate in the on Friday, May 4.
The purpose of the walk is to increase awareness about the increasing problem of hunger in Essex County and raise funds for hungry families who come to the pantries for help. “Walkers will ask friends, co-workers, neighbors and family to pledge monetary support to help fight hunger in Essex County,” said Sharon Reilly-Tobin, Director of the Emergency Food and Nutrition Network at Catholic Charities. The proceeds will be used solely for the purchase of food to stock participating pantries.
Sponsored by the Emergency Food and Nutrition Network (EFNN) of Catholic Charities and Meeting Emergency Needs with Dignity (MEND), the walk will begin at 12 noon (rain or shine) in Washington Park, Newark. Walkers will proceed down Broad Street to the corner of 50 Walnut Street and then walk back to Washington Park.
“With the severe downturn in the economy, donations are down dramatically,” explained Reilly-Tobin. “Pantries are hard-pressed to serve the increasing number of people coming for assistance. Much of the increase is due to a new group of clients coming for help.
"People who suddenly lost their jobs, had their hours reduced or have gone from two sources of income to only one or none find themselves coming to pantries for emergency food for their families. Only with the public’s generous support will we meet the increasing need during this difficult time.”
The day of the Walk there will be a brief rally at noon. At this time the 22 food pantries participating in the Walk and donors will be recognized in the Roll Call of Support.
If you are unable to walk on May 4 but wish to contribute, your can send your tax-deductible donation to Meeting Emergency Needs with Dignity (MEND), 37 Evergreen Place, East Orange, NJ 07018-2154. Checks should be made payable to the Essex County Hunger Walk. Those interested in participating may also wish to organize a walk around their business, church, synagogue or mosque on May 5 or 6.
For more information, visit the MEND website.