Project Bread’s Walk for Hunger to be Held May 7, 2017

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The 49th annual walk is the single largest one-day fundraiser to alleviate hunger.

Project Bread, a pioneer of innovative programs and initiatives designed to eradicate hunger, today announced that its 2017 Walk for Hunger & 5K Run, will return to its historic 20-mile route on Sunday, May 7, 2017. An annual event in its 49th year, the Walk for Hunger raises money to fund more than 300 hunger relief programs across the state of Massachusetts.

Tens of thousands of residents from around the state will participate in the country’s oldest continuous pledge walk, which begins and ends at the Boston Common and weaves through Boston (Back Bay, Kenmore Square, and Allston), Brookline, Newton (Chestnut Hill, Newton Centre, and Newton Corner), Watertown, and Cambridge. In addition to the Walk, Project Bread is bringing back the popular 5K run. In its inaugural year, the Walk for Hunger 5K Run raised an additional $75,000 for hunger relief programs supported by the Walk. Registration is open for both the Walk for Hunger and the 5K run at projectbread.org/walk).

According to Project Bread’s 2016 Status Report on Hunger, 675,000 people in the Commonwealth lack reliable access to good food. For nearly five decades, the annual Walk for Hunger has been a community movement of neighbors helping neighbors. This year, more than 300 local programs in nearly 100 Massachusetts communities state-wide will be supported by money raised by participants, including: food pantries, meal programs, food rescue, urban agriculture, and critical child nutrition programs.

“At Project Bread, we strongly believe that good food is a basic right. We invest in multiple solutions to hunger that work together to build food security at the community level to ensure that every family has access to the nutritious food they deserve,” said Ellen Parker, Executive Director of Project Bread. “We continue to fund emergency food services for our neighbors who need to put food on the table, or who need to find a hot meal in their community. For children, we meet them where they learn and grow, when school is in session and during the summer months. The Walk for Hunger is the keystone in unifying our efforts to end hunger in Massachusetts and without the committed fundraising efforts of our friends and families, we wouldn’t be able to do this significant work.”

In addition to the thousands of participants that have supported the Walk over the last 48 years, Bimbo Bakeries and its family of brands have contributed more than $1 million in sponsorship, employee fundraising and corporate matching gifts over the past seven years as the Walk’s flagship sponsor. This year, Arnold Bread will continue this long-standing partnership on behalf of Bimbo Bakeries.

Transportation sponsor, Arbella Insurance Foundation, celebrates its 10-year anniversary supporting the Walk for Hunger. In addition to their financial support, each year Team Arbella recruits nearly 500 Walkers, securing their spot as the Walk’s largest team.

The Walk for Hunger has been a central cause to the Raytheon Company for 35 years. For Raytheon, supporting the Walk is a company-wide effort with nine teams forming out of their various company offices around the state. “We’re all one cog in the wheel, committed to alleviating hunger,” said Team Leader Ed Sampson who has been walking for over 25 years. “Though the contribution made by one person may be small, together we work toward an overall solution for local hunger.”

This is Capital One’s fourth year as an event sponsor and fielding a Walk team. They return as the presenting sponsor of the Walk for Hunger 5K Run. Capital One also supports Project Bread’s community programming, helping to fund Project Bread’s free, healthy cooking classes “Fast, Fresh and Delicious—for Less,” held every Thursday at the Boston Public Market (projectbread.org/bpmkitchen).

This 49th annual installment of the Walk for Hunger is also supported by Project Bread’s media partners, including WHDH-TV Boston, with 7News chief meteorologist Jeremy Reiner bringing you the day’s weather live from the Common and iHeart Media radio talent from stations, Kiss 108, JAM’N 94.5 and 101.7 The Bull will be greeting Walkers as they prepare to embark on the 20-mile Walk.

As many as 30,000 people are expected to turn out for this year’s event, walking to raise money and awareness about the issues of hunger across the state. “My mother basically lived every day of her life in service of some kind. She was a public health nurse and then, in her retirement, she founded and directed a thriving food pantry in Pittsfield. I was very inspired by her, and I walk to honor her memory,” said Heart & Sole Walker Rosanne Phillips of Wakefield. “I sat on the board of my local Wakefield Interfaith Food Pantry for a number of years. It was during that time that I decided to do the Walk for Hunger, because I was focused on food insecurity and families locally,” she continued. Following in her mother’s footsteps, Rosanne has raised thousands of dollars to support anti-hunger programs funded by the Walk over the 21 years she has been participating.

Live entertainment, snacks, and activities will provide Walk participants with the chance to rest and refuel at the Arnold Bread Snack Stop, the half way point of the Walk, at Arsenal Park (485 Arsenal St. Watertown, MA). Walking fundraisers do not need to complete all 20 miles to participate; shuttle buses will be stationed at all checkpoints along the route to take Walkers back to the Boston Common.

Registration is now open and individuals can walk, run, form a team, volunteer and donate at http://www.projectbread.org/walk. For more information or to request recruitment materials to help spread the word, call 617-723-5000 or email walk(at)projectbread(dot)org.

If you or someone you know is struggling to put food on the table, please call Project Bread’s FoodSource Hotline at 1-800-645-8333.

About Project Bread
Project Bread is the only statewide anti-hunger organization committed to providing people of all ages, cultures, and walks of life with sustainable, reliable access to nutritious food. From community-based meal programs, to early childhood and school nutrition initiatives, to improved access to farm-to-table resources, Project Bread approaches hunger as a complex problem with multiple solutions. With funds raised through The Walk for Hunger, the oldest continual pledge walk in the country, and other sources, Project Bread pioneers innovative initiatives and supports effective programs to eradicate hunger in our state. The Walk’s flagship sponsor is Arnold Bread; its leadership sponsors include Arbella Insurance Foundation, Raytheon Company, and Capital One; and media sponsors include 7NEWS and iHeart Media (Kiss, Jam’n, and The Bull). For more information, visit http://www.ProjectBread.org/walk, http://www.Facebook.com/ProjectBread, or http://www.Twitter.com/ProjectBread.
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Maureen Lederhos
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