2015 Hunger Walk/Run
Over twenty-eight percent of children in Georgia live in homes where they don’t know where their next meal will come from. But the Atlantic Institute stepped up with other organizations to participate in the 2015 Hunger Walk/Run this past Sunday, 15 March 2015. The annual Hunger Walk/Run celebrated its 31st year and continues to donate money to support the Atlanta Community Food Bank as well as the Episcopal Charities Foundation, the Jewish Federation of Greater Atlanta, the Lutheran Services of Georgia, the Presbytery of Greater Atlanta, and the St Vincent de Paul Society. Each nonprofit organization works to fight hunger in Georgia and this year, 15,000 people laced up their running shoes and walked or ran the 5K through Atlanta raising over $585,000! Donations are still being accepted through March 31.
As a first-time participant in a charity walk, I was thrilled to be with the Atlantic Institute because there could not have been a better environment to see our goals of interfaith dialogue and cooperation put into practice. The Atlantic Institute met up with the Neshama Interfaith Center, a diverse group dedicated to interfaith compassion and collaboration for greater knowledge and peace, and partnered with their walking team. The walk leads you through some of Atlanta’s busiest streets, and as your feet slap the pavement from Turner Field up along Piedmont Avenue you walk to the cheers of volunteers along the sidewalk offering you encouragement, high fives and bottles of water and PowerAid.
Along the route, bands come out to play, dance groups move to their choreography and at the finish line you’re greeted by music, a DJ and volunteers passing out fruit. Food trucks populated the arena and a music surged from live band on the stage. But what mattered most to me was seeing signs and banners that read: “Hunger doesn’t discriminate.” Hunger affects all communities regardless of race, religion, gender, sexuality, age, ethnicity, or any other intersection of identity—even if it does affect these communities in different ways and proportions. Everywhere you looked at the Hunger Walk/Run, people of different genders, ages, races and religions came out to take a step forward fighting hunger in Georgia. I spent the walk speaking with a woman I had never met before, who came from a religious tradition different than my own. Walking with the Atlantic Institute, I was part of a group working toward not just fighting hunger but fighting for religious diversity and inclusion.
Written by: Cheryl Wollner, Academic & Educational Programs Intern
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