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Registration is Open for 29th Annual Hunger Walk/Run

February 13,2013

Registration is open for the 29th annual Hunger Walk/Run which takes place Sunday, March 10, 2013 at Turner Field’s Green Lot.  Gates open at Noon and the Walk/Run steps off at 2 p.m.  Register online at HWR2013.org.

The Atlanta Community Food Bank and five other benefiting partners - Episcopal Charities Foundation, Jewish Federation of Greater Atlanta, Lutheran Services of Georgia, Presbytery of Greater Atlanta and St. Vincent De Paul Society – have already begun recruiting participants and raising funds for the annual Hunger Walk/Run and invite the community to join them.

Thousands will hit the streets of Downtown Atlanta on event day to raise awareness and funds in an effort to help those who continue to struggle to feed themselves and their families.  With more than 28 percent of Georgia’s children living in food insecure homes where there isn’t enough food to go around, the Atlanta Community Food Bank (ACFB) and others are working harder than ever to meet the continued demand for food assistance.

As a race in the community that benefits more than just one nonprofit, Hunger Walk/Run has become a beloved tradition.  From families and individuals to faith groups and corporate teams, this event offers the rare occasion to bring people together from almost every generation, race and religion in metro Atlanta.  The committee hopes to surpass the more than $560,000 raised last year.

The number of people needing emergency food assistance is still at a critical level with 1.8 million Georgians living in poverty according to the latest US Census Bureau American

Community Survey report released in September 2012.  That’s up from nearly 1.7 million Georgians in 2011.  In Fiscal Year 2011-2012, the Food Bank distributed over 37 million pounds of food and grocery products compared to 34 million the prior year

“Take the Next Step” is the mantra for Hunger Walk/Run 2013 organizers who are serious about recruiting record numbers of participants and raising more funds than ever.  “The Hunger Walk/Run is one of our most important fundraisers each year,” said Bill Bolling, founder

and executive director of the Atlanta Community Food Bank. “We are working harder than ever along with our partners to meet the need for food assistance that still exists for many in our community. The money raised at this event will help us continue to meet that demand here in metro Atlanta, and work towards expanding the healthful options we provide through our partner agencies.”

While “day-of” registration will be available, participants are encouraged to register online at www.HWR2013.org and invite friends and family to join them at the event or make a donation.  The registration fee is $25, which includes a special Hunger Walk/Run t-shirt while supplies last.

Although the Hunger Walk/Run addresses a serious issue, it doesn’t run short on fun. Participants will be energized by a full scope of activities for kids and adults. The Nationwide NASCAR “show car” and virtual “race driving” experience will be on-site with a fun, interactive race simulator and enter-to-win prizes, the Kids Play Zone will include educational activities such as the Food Bank’s life size interactive board game “Feast or Famine” along with inflatables, face painting and more, and for those who come early enough for lunch the Arby’s “Tasting Truck” will be on hand along with a few food trucks: The Blaxican, Ibiza Bites, The Pickle, Yumbii and King of Pops.  The food trucks will also be donating a portion of the proceeds to the Food Bank. “This is a fun and memorable event for everyone,” said Michael DeCoursey, Hunger Walk/Run manager. “In addition to the 5K walk and ‘fun run,’ we’re creating a fun, festival atmosphere in the Green Lot to kick off the afternoon.  Our stage show will feature a DJ and live band, as well as Brenda Wood from 11Alive serving as our emcee.  We’ll have music and giveaways from V103/WAOK and Sports Radio 92.9 The Game.  There is so much to do before you even take that first step on the route!”

The event began as a grassroots effort created in response to domestic and international hunger issues in 1984.  The Atlanta Community Food Bank has helped organize the Hunger Walk/Run every year since it began, and in 1988 it became a special project of the Food Bank.  Since then, millions of dollars have been raised, helping to feed hundreds of thousands of people who struggle with hunger.