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The Walk for Hunger

Updated on April 1, 2013

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!

Project Bread
Project Bread

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.

41st Annual Walk for Hunger - Sunday May 3, 2009

Have you ever participated?

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    • OhMe profile image

      Nancy Tate Hellams 5 years ago from Pendleton, SC

      Just popping back to this great page to let you know that Bonnie has started a new topic in the forum for Squidoo Supported Charities. Come join us!

    • profile image

      boutiqueshops 6 years ago

      I triple agree ~ what an awesome program to raise money for hunger. It should spread everywhere. With our economy the way it is these days, this is a super way to help our communities.

    • Dianne Loomos profile image

      Dianne Loomos 6 years ago

      This is a great program to raise money for hungry families. I agree with Susan that other states should look at this.

    • SusanDeppner profile image

      Susan Deppner 6 years ago from Arkansas USA

      What a wonderful program! Seems every state should consider organizing a walk for hunger!

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      I'm out and about for the Angels April Fools' Day Quest and leaving~ Squidoo Angel Blessings ~

    • profile image

      Jerry_David 7 years ago

      Great deed for you, thanks.

    • JenOfChicago LM profile image

      JenOfChicago LM 7 years ago

      What a great cause - and so important to do it during a non-holiday time of year so that donations can keep rolling in year round.

    • naturegirl7s profile image

      Yvonne L. B. 7 years ago from Covington, LA

      A very worthy cause. I have in other walks, but not this one.

    • KarenHC profile image

      Karen 7 years ago from U.S.

      I haven't participated in anything like this for years, and I greatly admire people who do this. We have a Crop Walk each year (CROP is an acronym for something, but I forget what it is), and it's to raise money to fight hunger and malnutrition.

    • dustytoes profile image

      dustytoes 7 years ago

      I have never done it although I grew up in Mass. Congrats on receiving the Sunshine Award for this worthy cause.

    • squid-janices7 profile image

      squid-janices7 7 years ago

      Great cause and a great fundraising event...$3.8 that is impressive! Congrats on winning the sunshine award! Lensrolled you to my CAER Food Shelf lens.

    • TonyPayne profile image

      Tony Payne 7 years ago from Southampton, UK

      This is definitely in a good cause, and a lot fo fun too. Very nice lens.

    • OhMe profile image

      Nancy Tate Hellams 7 years ago from Pendleton, SC

      Project Bread sounds like such a wonderful organization. Congratulations on your Summer Sunshine Award win and it is well deserved. I will be featuring this lens on Squidoo's Summer Sunshine Award Nominees.

    • burgessvillian profile image

      burgessvillian 7 years ago

      I did two walkathons when I was younger. I can't remember what they were for. It's great that you keep at it. Congratulations on the sunshine award.

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      What a wonderful organization and cause. Walk for Hunger would be nice to have in every State. Congrats on the Sunshine Award!

    • Christene-S profile image

      Christene-S 7 years ago

      @LoKackl: Thanks :)The Walk is always the same route through Boston, but the money earned benefits people throughout the state. You can see which organizations in your area were funded on this pdf:

    • LoKackl profile image

      LoKackl 7 years ago

      Perhaps the Walk For Hunger will find its way to Western Massachusetts next year. Thanks for such a great feature of this fantastic program. Congratulations on the Sunshine Award! Easy S/A Blessing!.

    • MichelleLacroix profile image

      Michelle Lacroix Toro 7 years ago from United States

      Very cool, I actually did this walk about 12 years ago. Congrats on your award.

    • ronpass lm profile image

      ronpass lm 7 years ago

      Well done Christene - a very worthy cause that has grown with sustained effort and commitment.

    • Christene-S profile image

      Christene-S 7 years ago

      @anonymous: Thanks Kimberly! :)

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      Congrats on your Sunshine Award and purple star! Thanks to your hard work, both you and Project Bread (one of our newest partner charities!) have earned $99 in the Sunshine Award contest.

    • RhondaAlbom profile image

      Rhonda Albom 7 years ago from New Zealand

      The success statistics on the walk for hunger are really impressive. Congrats on your purple star.

    • oztoo lm profile image

      oztoo lm 7 years ago

      What a great project to be involved in. Hope you and your daughter can walk it together. Congrats on the Purple Star.