Experiencing the Hunger Walk

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Experiencing the Hunger Walk

Dodger staff at the Hunger Walk

Chloe Schorr; Maddie Dunn, Writers

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This past Sunday, members of MDO participated in the annual Hunger Walk at the Church of the Redeemer in Morristown, NJ. The 5K, 3.2 mile walk attracted the old, young, disabled, privileged, and needy. At registration, volunteers gave sponsored donations and received a card depicting the start of the walk and the journey of one of the soup kitchen’s guests.

 

Our first card told of a 19-year-old man who dropped out of high school and went into carpentry. The lack of a high school diploma left him without many options and when an accident occurred at work, crushing his hand and leaving him jobless, he found himself stuck. Without workers compensation, doctors’ bills as well as the general cost of living became overwhelming. Unemployment covered some of his expenses but soon the benefits ran out, and he faced eviction from his apartment.

 

As the walk went on we learned more and more about his struggle and how the soup kitchen helped him turn around his life. While living in his car, the man in our story came across the Community Soup Kitchen and began receiving healthy, free meals, no questions asked. With help from one of the soup kitchen’s social workers, he was given connections to a shelter, and without the burden of not knowing where to sleep at night, he began to make progress. The social worker introduced him to a nurse who brought him to a virtually free clinic and gave him the opportunity to regain his health. On the last card, we learned that his hand had in fact healed with proper medical care and he was on his way back into the workforce.

 

The dodger received story number 9 out of the 36 very different, very influential stories. The walk led 1,000 participants through all walks of life. We walked by some of the most gorgeous houses in Morristown to the much less affluent neighborhoods, showcasing the wide range of lifestyles that exist in our backyard. The experience was eye opening and extremely rewarding for the MDO. Personally, our contribution raised roughly $500 through generous donations towards a cause that not only knows how to stretch a dollar, but also put it to good use.

The Community Soup Kitchen aims to not only provide immediate resources for the needy, but also pinpoint the source of their fiscal struggle. Along with food and companionship, the CSK has a wide variety of resources. These include local volunteer nurses, social workers, and resources to almost everything and anything a person could need.

 

This year’s Hunger Walk had its largest turnout in the event’s 17-year history, with 1,000 participants. So far the kitchen has raised $94,000, and money will continue to come in over the next few weeks, possibly surpassing their goal of $100,000. The Dodger was honored to partake in such an event that truly made such a difference.

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