By Leah Larson
Church groups, students and community-minded citizens gathered together for a good cause at Steilacoom Park last Sunday to participate in the 33rd annual Pierce County Hunger Walk. Among them were dozens of Pacific Lutheran University students who walked or ran to help raise proceeds for the Emergency Food Network, a non-profit distribution center in Pierce County.
Junior Ashely Hill helped coordinate the PLU team.
“I participated in this year’s Hunger Walk because I believe that it is a key issue that undermines any social progress we make as a society,” Hill said. “People prefer to think of starving children as off in some third world country — out of sight, out of mind — when the reality is that these children are your neighbors, your kids’ friends, students in your school districts.”
The Hunger Walk is put on annually by the Associated Ministries, an interfaith center that does a lot of community work in Pierce County. This year’s Hunger Walk raised $45,279.02.
Hill participated in the Hunger Walk for the second time this year. “I checked it out last year and had a great time and really wanted to get more involved this year,” she said.
Another participant was junior Carly Brook. “I was excited about the idea of acting on hunger awareness and food justice issues in our communities, especially with recent legislation on the farm bill and modifications to food stamps,” Brook said. “People seemed really excited, and it really was a good community event.”
This was senior Princess Reese’s first year participating in the Hunger Walk.
“I was really excited to do it,” Reese said. “I’ve participated in Relay for Life before, but nothing on the scale of the Hunger Walk nor with the kind of outreach to community organizations.”
Reese said college students have privileges that enable them to be critical thinkers and to improve society. “Given the tools that we have,” Reese said, “it’s our responsibility to make sure we do as much good as possible in practice in the real world while we can.”