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Walk Against Hunger Hopes To Raise $600,000 To Feed Children, Families, Seniors

By Susan Campbell

May 03, 2012

The timing, of course, was excruciatingly bad.

A month ago, when Gloria McAdam, president and CEO of Foodshare Inc., the region's foodbank, stepped into a hole in her yard (dug by one of her dogs), she knew that she'd been hurt, but took her time going to the doctor.

The silly thing is she thought she'd filled in all the holes made by the dog, and acquired a second dog to alleviate the digger's boredom. Her ankle hurt and she iced it, but she didn't make it to the doctor until two weeks later, when her ankle blew up and she could barely walk. The doctor told her she had a sprain that would take six weeks to heal.

She was at Bushnell Park on Saturday waiting for the Unite Women CT rally to begin, her foot up in a chair.

"I wish I had a better story for why I sprained it," she said, laughing.

On Sunday, she'll preside over Foodshare's largest fundraiser, Walk Against Hunger, where she expects 4,000 walkers to raise some $600,000. According to Foodshare, every year more than 128,000 people 50,000 of whom are children, 10,000 of whom are seniors need emergency food assistance in the Hartford area. Because of Foodshare's distribution system to area food pantries and the like, $30 will provide a month's worth of food for a needy family.

The walk starts with registration at 1 p.m. Sunday at 140 Garden St. in Hartford, and goes for 2.5 miles through Bushnell Park and the West End.

Last year, walkers raised $538,000.

McAdam's doctor has advised her not to walk and she's leaning toward following his advice. And for the first time in the 29-year history of the fundraiser, McAdam will not be walking, though she is looking for a tall director's chair from which she can preside over the event. This is only the second time she's missed the walk. Earlier, she missed to attend her son's Confirmation at Asylum Hill Congregational.

This walk feels critical because while the economy may be recovering, that happy news hasn't reached the non-profits in Connecticut. Foodshare distributes 16 tons of food a day, and their five trucks went through half of the organization's yearly fuel budget in the first two months of this year, McAdam said.

"We talk to people all the time who say, 'I used to donate, and now I'm on the receiving end. I lost my job, and I need to feed my kids, and instead of giving, I'm in line getting food,'" said McAdam.

She said she's encouraged by teams that are forming, including a large, 200-member group from United Healthcare, and faith groups from churches, synagogues, and mosques.

You can find out more about Walk Against Hunger here: http://bit.ly/mw1elQ.

Reprinted with permission of the Hartford Courant. To view other stories on this topic, search the Hartford Courant Archives at http://www.courant.com/archives.
| Last update: September 25, 2012 |
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