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Rock the walk: Food Bank Coalition of SLO County will hold seventh annual Hunger Walk in Morro Bay 

A  flock will make its way to Morro Rock to raise both awareness and money for the hungry in San Luis Obispo County on Saturday, Sept. 19. There, the Food Bank Coalition of SLO County is hosting the seventh annual Hunger Walk in Morro Bay, leading individuals and teams on a mile-long course from St. Timothy’s Church to the rock. 

“There are 44,000 people in San Luis Obispo County that are food insecure or at risk of being hungry,” said Aracely Aceves Lozano, the director of community relations for the food bank, which serves those individuals. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, approximately 279,000 people live in SLO County, and of those, more than 14 percent live below the poverty line. 

click to enlarge STROLLING THE EMBARCADERO:  Participants in the Food Bank’s annual Hunger Walk make their way from Morro Rock to the finish line, raising money and awareness for individuals in San Luis Obispo County suffering from hunger. - PHOTO COURTESY OF TERHOST PRODUCTIONS
  • PHOTO COURTESY OF TERHOST PRODUCTIONS
  • STROLLING THE EMBARCADERO: Participants in the Food Bank’s annual Hunger Walk make their way from Morro Rock to the finish line, raising money and awareness for individuals in San Luis Obispo County suffering from hunger.

The food bank’s aid reaches beyond those living in poverty, Lozano said, also helping people whose concerns are often split between whether to pay rent or pay for groceries. About 40 percent of the people that the food bank serves are children and teens under the age of 18; this demographic is a large focus for the food bank and the programs it provides. 

The Hunger Walk gives the community a chance to get involved and help support the food bank by registering for or donating to the walk. Interested in walking to fight hunger? Pre-register on the food bank’s website as either an individual or a team. Registered walkers are then given collection envelopes and encouraged to fundraise within their personal communities. Can’t make the walk, but still interested in donating? Choose to support a specific team or individual through the website. It’s also possible to register and donate the day of the walk for any last-minute attendee. 

For walking teams and individuals, there isn’t a minimum amount of money that needs to be raised; everyone’s encouraged to set their own goals and fundraise as much as they can, because every step and every cent matters.

That’s because the food bank has the ability to stretch all of its donations. Food donations, low cost food sources, and volunteers enable the food bank to turn one dollar donated into $10 worth of food. All the money raised at the Hunger Walk will stay within the community to help provide food for those in need. 

“The impact is very strong” Lozano said. “Last year’s walk raised over $40,000.” 

She added that the goal for this year is $65,000. That becomes $650,000 worth of food to help those who don’t have access to nutritious and affordable sustenance. 

“Everyone can contribute to the effort by donating to the hunger walk and participating in events that we put on in the community,” Lozano said. 

For people who’d like to continue helping beyond the Hunger Walk, the organization is always looking for volunteers and can be reached through volunteer@slofoodbank.org

On Sept. 19, the Food Bank will have a course that the whole community can use: At a length of about a mile, it will be ready for people of all mobility levels. This is a family friendly event. Refreshments will be waiting on the other side of the finish line, and organizers will recognize the top fundraising teams and individuals. 

“People can bring pets, dogs, the whole family, children in strollers … this is an all-inclusive event” Lozano beamed.

To register go to slofoodbank.org. Check-in starts at 1 p.m. at 962 Piney Way, St. Timothy’s Church, and the walk begins at 2 p.m.

Fast fact

On Thursday, Sept. 17, the Latino Outreach Council presents Fiesta Patrias to celebrate Mexican Independence. This is a free event in San Luis Obispo’s Mission Plaza from 5 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Find the Latino Outreach Council on Facebook for more info. 

Intern Rebecca Lucas wrote this week’s Strokes and Plugs. Send your business and nonprofit news to strokes@newtimesslo.com.

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