- Politics and Social Issues
The Walk for Hunger
Project Bread's Walk for Hunger
The first Sunday in May, every year since 1969, people of Massachusetts get together and walk. Sure, people walk every day of the year, but this is something special. Thousands of people raise millions of dollars to fund over 400 emergency food programs throughout our state. These include soup kitchens, food pantries, and food salvage programs.
Project Bread's Walk for Hunger is the oldest continual pledge walk in the United States. Since it began, nearly $85 million has been raised to help hungry families in Massachusetts.
I walked my first Walk for Hunger in 1989 when I was 12 years old. My friend was participating with her church and asked me to come. I walked 5 years in a row and always completed all 20 miles. :) I plan to walk it again at some point with my daughter. Maybe in 2013!
About Project Bread
Project Bread is a nonprofit organization dedicated to alleviating, preventing, and ultimately ending hunger in Massachusetts. For four decades, Project Bread has been helping people who struggle to put food on the table.
In addition to organizing the annual Walk for Hunger, Project Bread also runs a statewide hunger hotline, works with schools to offer breakfast programs, and funds summer programs for kids to get a nutritious meal when school is out.
About the Walk for Hunger
Weeks before the event walkers start collecting and recording donation promises on pledge sheets. People can pledge an amount per mile that you walk, or a lump sum. (After you take part in the walk you return to your sponsors, let them know how many miles you completed, and collect their donations.)
What these donations can do...
$200 can provide ten families with a hot, nutritious dinner and a week's worth of groceries at a weekly supper program.
$500 can give 1,000 people a bowl of hot soup and a sandwich at an emergency food program.
$1,000 helps to fund a summer food program for low-income kids.
The Walk kicks off at 7:00 am on Boston Common and is open for 12 hours. You can walk at your own pace and go as far as you are comfortable. At each checkpoint your mileage gets recorded, you can stop for a rest, have a drink of water, and get re-energized to continue on.
The Walk Route
The Walk for Hunger is a 20 mile trek through Boston, Brookline, Newton, Watertown (new this year), and Cambridge, starting & ending at Boston Common. You don't have to complete the 20 miles...every mile you walk counts!
Sign in at Boston Common
Checkpoint 1: St Mary's and Beacon Streets @ 2.5 miles
Checkpoint 2: Cleveland Circle @ 5 miles
Checkpoint 3: Newton Centre @ 7.5 miles
Checkpoint 4: Eliot Church @ 9.5 miles
Checkpoint 5: Arsenal Park Snack Stop @ 11.5 miles
Checkpoint 6: Cambridge Boat Club @ 14 miles
Checkpoint 7: Magazine Beach @ 16.5 miles
Checkpoint 8: Comm. Ave. and Hereford @ 19 miles
Checkpoint 9: Boston Common @ 20 miles
The Old Route
The only difference was the Snack Stop at Checkpoint 5. It used to be at DalyField, 10.5 miles into the route.
44th Annual Walk
On Sunday, May 6, 2012
41,000 walkers raised
$3.6 million to fight hunger!
History of the Walk
- June 1969
A group of activists from the Paulist Center, led by Patrick Hughes, establish The Walk for Hunger. Approximately 2,000 people set out on a 29.6-mile trek through Quincy on Sunday, June 8, 1969. Participants raise $26,000 to fund two hunger projects.
- May 1970
The first Walk for Hunger in Boston. 2,000 concerned citizens participate in the shortened 25-mile route.
- May 1973
The Walk for Hunger route is reduced from 25 miles to 20 miles. Approximately 1,000 people complete the route, which takes them from Government Center through the South End, South Boston, Beacon Hill, and Allston, and finishes at the Boston Common.
- May 1979
With nearly 10 percent of the state's citizens living below the poverty line, hunger persists in the Commonwealth. Nearly 3,000 people participate in the tenth anniversary of The Walk for Hunger and help raise funds for 34 emergency food programs.
- May 1985
The first million-dollar Walk for Hunger. With the current route mostly established, 11,000 Walkers raise more than $1 million to help feed hungry families in Massachusetts.
- May 1999
Despite a strong economy, hunger continues to rise in Massachusetts. Concerned citizens in the Bay State participate and raise $3 million to support more than 350 emergency food programs.
- May 2008
The 40th Walk for Hunger sets new records when an estimated 40,000 Walkers, 2,000 Volunteers, 50,000 donors, and more than 35 corporate sponsors raise over $4 million to help feed hungry people in Massachusetts.