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More Than 10,000 Metro Atlantans Expected to Participate in Hunger Walk/Run | Community Spirit

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More Than 10,000 Metro Atlantans Expected to Participate in Hunger Walk/Run
More Than 10,000 Metro Atlantans Expected to Participate in Hunger Walk/Run

Atlanta, GA--  (submitted by ACFB.org)  Unemployment remains at record levels in Georgia, causing many more people to seek help to feed their families.  The Atlanta Community Food Bank (ACFB) and others are working harder than ever to meet the continued demand and are hoping Hunger Walk/Run 2011 will bring out a record number of participants to help raise funding, awareness and hope for the issue of hunger.

The Food Bank, along with five other local hunger-relief programs and thousands of metro Atlantans will gather at Turner Field’s Green Lot on Sunday, March 13 to walk and run through Downtown, marking the 27th year of the annual eventGates open at Noon and the walk/run steps off at 2 p.m.

The number of people needing emergency food assistance in metro Atlanta has risen to a critical level in recent years. According to the latest US Census Bureau American Community Survey report released in September 2010, nearly 1.6 million Georgians are living in poverty, up from 1.4 million in 2008.  So far this fiscal year, the ACFB’s distribution to its more than 700 nonprofit partner agencies has increased by 40 percent.

“Hunger – Walk for It – Not Away from It,” is the mantra for Hunger Walk/Run 2011 organizers who are serious about responding to the need, 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. “As a number of recent studies have shown, more and more people are struggling to put food on the table.  The money raised at this event will help us continue to meet the growing need here in metro Atlanta, now and in the coming months.”

“This is a fun and memorable event for everyone,” said Holly Royston, Hunger Walk/Run manager. “In addition to the 5K walk and run, we’re creating an exciting, festival atmosphere in the Green Lot to kick off the afternoon. Our stage show will feature a performance by Sounds of Essence, as well as Brenda Wood from 11Alive and Mara Davis from 92.9 davefm serving as our emcees. We’ll have music and giveaways from 92.9 davefm, 104.7 The Fish and V103/WAOK.  There is so much to do before you even take that first step on the route!”

Walkers and runners will step off at Turner Field just outside Monument Grove, and travel a scenic, historic route throughout downtown Atlanta with live performers supporting them along the way – performers include STRATOGEEZER, Praise in Motion dancers and Emerson Drummers drum core, among others.

While “day-of” registration will be available, participants are encouraged to register online at www.HWR2011.org and invite friends and family to join them at the event or make a donation. The runners’ registration fee is $25, which includes a special Hunger Walk/Run moisture wicking t-shirt.  There is no charge for walkers to participate, but a $25 donation is encouraged, and those donating or collecting $25 or more will receive an official Hunger Walk/Run 2011 t-shirt.

Check out Chesley McNeil's special Hunger Walk/Run weather report on our HWR Facebook page. There is still plenty of time to register online and raise funds. Gates open at noon for pre-walk festivities at Turner Field's Green Lot, and the 5K Walk/Run steps off at 2:00 p.m.  Get all the details for HWR 2011 and register today!  Still on the fence? We'll have "day-of" registration at Turner Field on Sunday as well. See YOU there!