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Hunger Beat

Why I Walk: Bob Russell

Bob Russell will attend the Hunger Walk with more than 120 others from the Union Avenue UMC Food Pantry in Canaryville.
In anticipation of the Greater Chicago Food Depository’s 29th Annual Hunger Walk on June 21 at Soldier Field, we’re asking people what motivates them to take a step towards ending hunger. In this entry, Bob Russell, a volunteer and client at Union Avenue UMC Food Pantry in Canaryville, explains his motivation for attending the Hunger Walk.

When my wife passed away, things were so difficult for my family. Not only were we dealing with an unimaginable loss, we were also suddenly struggling to afford food. I wasn’t sure where to turn, so I went to a place my wife had once volunteered – the Union Avenue Food Pantry in my neighborhood.

Plain and simple, without the food my four children and I got at the pantry, I don’t know if we would have made it. I’m extremely grateful for the help I received at the pantry. I think it saved my family. Ever since, I’ve been volunteering at Union Avenue and everyone there has become family to me.

And that’s why I walk.

I want to give back to the pantry family that so willingly helped my children and I in a time of need. I look forward to the Hunger Walk every year for that reason. It’s a way for me to say “thanks” and it’s also a way to be together as a community. Because when I’m walking with people of all ages - and with the 120 people Union Avenue is bringing to the Hunger Walk this year - I know that we’re all a family with one mission: to fight hunger. And for me, that’s really inspiring.

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