Wareham walkers participate in 10th annual Walk for Hunger
At the tenth Annual Walk for Hunger, light rain didn’t dampen the mood of the participants who had cheerfully gathered to raise money for those in need.
The walk, which begins and ends at the Church of the Good Shepherd, included walkers from virtually every church in Wareham alongside people who attend churches in Marion, Middleborough, Sagamore Beach, and Falmouth.
The walk raises money for Project Bread, a non-profit organization working to end hunger in Massachusetts, which helps fund 425 food pantries and soup kitchens across the state. Wareham’s walk is a local version of the one held in Boston each year.
Many of those churches will receive grants from Project Bread to fund their food pantries or free community meals.
The Church of the Good Shepherd has been serving a free hot meal each Thursday at 5 p.m. since 2000. Over the years, volunteer Pat Probert said that the church has served more than 170,000 meals. The church also runs a food pantry, which is open from 3 to 5 p.m. on the first Tuesday of each month.
“Feeding the hungry is one of the easiest things to do,” said Probert. “And we have fun.”
Pastor Ginny Doran of Wesley UMC said a prayer ahead of the walk and gave thanks for the day, in spite of the rainy weather.
"It’s fun, and it’s an easy way to raise money for the hungry,” said Doran. “No one should have to go without food."
Over the years, the annual walk has grown both in the number of participants and in the amount of money raised. The first walk in 2010 raised $1,200. Last year, the walk raised nearly $10,000. This year’s total has not yet been finalized as donations are still coming in.
Ron Perry was the first person to finish the five-mile walk.
“I led the pack last year, as I did again this year,” he said, smiling.
One volunteer drove laps around the course to hand out water and pick up people who were tired or eager to get out of the rain. After the walk, people had a chance to refuel with pizza sold at cost to the church by Minerva’s.