On a warm, sunny September morning, more than 14,000 people stepped up to address hunger in their communities.
The lively crowd joined together in Jackson Park to participate in the Greater Chicago Food Depository’s 34th Annual Hunger Walk, the city’s largest anti-hunger rally.
The event raises awareness and funds that help eliminate the root causes of hunger and directly support the Food Depository’s network of more than 700 pantries, soup kitchens and shelters across Cook County. For the first time, the walk also included a community fair. Partners like the Chicago Public Library, CEDA, and Chicago’s Community Kitchens — the Food Depository’s culinary job training program — connected visitors with additional opportunities.
The walk has raised more than $300,000 to date to support the Food Depository’s network. Donations will be collected through December 31, 2019.
Jack Garland, who came out to this year’s Hunger Walk, said he did so because he knows how it can directly impact those in need.
“I can come out here, I can do two miles, and it actually makes a difference for people in their lives.”
Peggy Porter, a walker and volunteer at the Chosen Tabernacle Ministries food pantry on Chicago’s South Side, knows what it means to face hunger. Before volunteering at the pantry, she once received food there.
“Now we’re working together in the pantry, serving in the community, reaching out to people who need our help,” Porter said while talking with a friend and fellow volunteer who had once served her. “We really enjoy the work that we do. The people that come in, we try to make sure they feel comfortable.”
The 34th Annual Hunger Walk’s sponsors include Conagra Brands, Griffith Foods, Jewel Osco, ABC7 Chicago, US Foods, and PepsiCo.