Would you like to join in an effort to fight hunger in the nine-county metro area? The Mall of America in Bloomington, Minnesota, has announced that it will host the third annual Walk to End Hunger on Thanksgiving morning, November 25th from 7:00 to 10:00 a.m.
The theme of this year’s walk is “Give back before giving thanks.” Participants can go to the mall, complete the walk, and return home in time to celebrate Thanksgiving Day with family and friends – filled with the bounty of their tables but also with the knowledge that they have helped others who are experiencing the hardship of hunger.
“Hunger is one issue in the Twin Cities Metro area that knows no bias. It affects homeless and working families alike,” explains Maureen Bausch, executive vice president of business development at Mall of America. “Mall of America is proud to help raise awareness of this event and support the effort to end hunger in our community.”
While many families spend the holiday feasting on turkey and watching football, the harsh reality is that one in five families in the Twin Cities struggles to even put food on the table. In the first six months of 2010, Twin City food shelves served 193,000 individuals which is equivalent to the populations of Edina, Woodbury and Bloomington, combined.
About the Walk for Hunger
Sponsored by the Twin Cities Hunger Initiative, the event takes place from 7 to 10 a.m. beginning in the Best Buy Rotunda. For additional event details including how to register, log on to www.walktoendhunger.org. Registration forms are also available at area Subway® restaurants.
Open registration is from 7 to 9:30 a.m. with the walk kicking off at 7:30 a.m. Participants can start and finish at their leisure and enjoy the activities and entertainment taking place along the 5K walk route.
In addition, a food drive will coincide with the event. Beginning on Wednesday, November 24, KARE 11 is hosting a phone-a-thon encouraging viewers to become hunger fighters and donate to the cause. The phone-a-thon continues through Thanksgiving Day.
Event organizers hope to achieve the following goals:
1) Raise $350,000 from registrations and the phone-a-thon
2) Collect 2,500 bags of food
3) Recruit five thousand walkers
The Twin Cities Hunger Initiative is a collaboration of 14 hunger relief partner agencies with a definitive plan to end hunger in the Twin Cities by 2013. Spokeswoman Amy Lopez, Greater Twin Cities United Way Basic Needs program manager says, “We are committed to organizing the resources to fight hunger in the Twin Cities. The Walk proactively addresses this persistent issue while providing an opportunity to inspire community support in a period of continued economic uncertainty.”
Initiative partners include Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis, Community Emergency Assistance Program (CEAP), Emergency FoodShelf Network (EFN), Greater Twin Cities United Way, Hope for the City, Hunger Solutions Minnesota, Intercongregation Communities Association (ICA), Keystone Community Services, Loaves and Fishes Too, Minnesota FoodShare, Neighborhood House, Neighbors, Inc., Minnesota Department of Human Services/Office of Economic Opportunities, Second Harvest Heartland and Volunteers Enlisted to Assist People (VEAP). Many other organizations and individuals are involved supporting various efforts of the Twin Cities Hunger Initiative.
The Initiative’s notable work includes increasing the amount of nutritious food for distribution and capacity of the hunger relief system, and enhancing use of food stamps and federally funded summer feeding programs that are underutilized. This year the public can positively affect change by donating non-perishable food items, calling in to donate via the phone-a-thon or joining a team and walking on Thanksgiving morning.
In addition to support from Initiative members and Greater Twin Cities United Way, the Walk to End Hunger is sponsored by Mosaic, Thomson Reuters, Subway®, Mall of America®, KARE 11 and Comcast.
About Mall of America®
Mall of America is the nation’s largest retail and entertainment complex. At 4.2 million square feet, MOA® is home to more than 520 world-class shops; Nickelodeon Universe®, the nation’s largest indoor family amusement park; Underwater Adventures® Aquarium, a 1.2 million gallon walk-through aquarium; Moose Mountain Adventure Golf; Theatres at Mall of America™ – a 14-screen movie theater with VIP theatre and more. The Mall opened in August of 1992 and is located in Bloomington, Minn., just minutes from downtown Minneapolis and St. Paul. For more information visit www.mallofamerica.com.
Plan now to join thousands of walkers November 25th at Mall of America® to raise awareness and donations to help fight hunger in the nine-county metro area. Become a “Hunger Fighter,” and give back before giving thanks!
Erica Dao, Media Relations Specialist, Mall of America