Hunger Walk laps CRHS track on Global Youth Service Day

Rays of golden sunshine warmed the track circling Coon Rapids High School’s football field the morning of April 27 as dozens of people took steps to feed hungry children.

Mark Daml and his mom Jackie put together rice and bean meal packets during the April 27 Hunger Walk staged at Coon Rapids High School as part of a HandsOn Twin Cities Youth project for Global Youth Service Day.Photo by Sue Austreng

Mark Daml and his mom Jackie put together rice and bean meal packets during the April 27 Hunger Walk staged at Coon Rapids High School as part of a HandsOn Twin Cities Youth project for Global Youth Service Day.Photo by Sue Austreng

Sure, it’s true there are millions of hungry children living all over the world. But hunger is not a problem known only to those living in Third World countries.

Research shows more than one in five children living right here in the U.S. don’t know where their next meal is coming from.

Well, on April 27 local folks took steps to feed hungry kids right here at home when the HandsOn Twin Cities Youth Advisory Board hosted a Hunger Walk at Coon Rapids High School (CRHS) to make Global Youth Service Day.

The walk was part of generationOn’s “What Will You Bring to the Table?” campaign inviting young people to share their ideas, creativity and passion to help end child hunger.

“This is really a big project for me, especially because I know people who are hungry,” said Rebecca Daml, CRHS DECA member who helped organize the event.

“I have a friend who tells me, ‘I’m so hungry.’ And then she goes home and has a slice of bread – one slice of bread, nothing on it – and her mom gets mad because she took it.

Dozens walked laps around the Coon Rapids High School track April 27, participating in the Hunger Walk on Global Youth Service Day.Photo by Sue Austreng

Dozens walked laps around the Coon Rapids High School track April 27, participating in the Hunger Walk on Global Youth Service Day.Photo by Sue Austreng

“So I know people who are hungry and this (Hunger Walk) will hopefully be able to help some of them.”

During the Hunger Walk participants lapped the track and collected pledges for each lap they walked.

Those pledges – plus the $5 entry fee each participant paid – was donated to the Emergency Food Shelf.

Non-perishable food items were also collected and donated and then distributed to Anoka County’s food shelves.

Also during the Hunger Walk, various speed volunteering stations were set up, offering folks a chance to assemble healthy snack bags, create colorful placemats and put together rice and bean meal packets.

Those items were also given to local food shelves.

Daml’s DECA classmate, Juan Suarez, said several of the high school’s groups took part in the Hunger Walk.

“We had DECA, of course, HOSA, NHS (National Honor Society) and FCCLA participating today,” he said.

Social media served a major role in getting word out about the event, according to Suarez.

Although the April 27 Hunger Walk was the first of its kind at CRHS, Daml said she hoped DECA students would vote to host the event again next year.

To learn more about HandsOn Twin Cities visit www.handsontwincities.org.

For more about Global Youth Service Day projects all over the world visit www.gysd.org.

Sue Austreng is at sue.austreng@ecm-inc.com

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