On March 5, 2017, the Episcopal Community Foundation for Middle and North Georgia (ECF) partnered with the Atlanta Community Food Bank and local faith organizations for the 33rd Annual Hunger Walk/Run. More than 450 Episcopalians walked, ran, or volunteered for the Diocese of Atlanta, with 39 teams formed in support of ECF. Prior to the 5K walk/run, more than 120 youth and adults attended the Eucharist at nearby Emmaus House, celebrated by Father Ricardo Bailey, which featured a powerful sermon by ECF board member Clayton Harrington calling Episcopalians to “choose the hard way” of fighting against poverty and oppression.
“Each year the Episcopal community shows up to not only participate in the Hunger Walk/Run, but to raise funds to support those facing food insecurity in our community,” said Lindsey Hardegree, Executive Director for the Episcopal Community Foundation for Middle and North Georgia. “The need is great. More than 25 percent of Georgia children face food insecurity, and Georgia is seventh in the nation for senior citizens facing hunger. Funds raised by our parishes through the Hunger Walk/Run are granted back to our communities to help end hunger.”
The 2017 Hunger Walk/Run was an incredible success, and with the significant help of parishes around the Diocese, ECF has received nearly $26,000 to support local hunger-related ministries and organizations. ECF is dedicated to funding opportunities for Episcopal parishes to work with their local community and nonprofits to serve the poor and oppressed. With that in mind, ECF will grant these funds to the following hunger-related ministries and organizations:
- Action Ministries, who partners with multiple Episcopal parishes, will receive a grant of $10,000 to support their regional hunger initiatives in the Northwest (Rome area), Mountain (Gainesville area), Northeast (Athens-Clarke County area), and Piedmont (Covington area) Regions.
- Community Helping Place will receive a grant of $4,000 for food costs at their food pantry which has been matched by a $4,000 gift from the parishioners of St. Elizabeth’s Episcopal Church (Dahlonega).
- Malachi’s Storehouse will receive a grant of $10,400 to underwrite the cost of chicken for their food pantry at St. Patrick’s Episcopal Church (Dunwoody) for one year.
- St. Timothy’s Episcopal Church (Decatur) will receive a grant of $1,329.19 towards purchasing a new refrigerator/freezer as a part of the expansion of their food pantry ministry to enable hot meal service.
Special thanks also go out to the top fundraising individuals:
- Shirley Lee of St. Bartholomew’s Episcopal Church (Atlanta)
- Connie Bergeron of St. Catherine’s Episcopal Church (Marietta)
- Ashley Erwin of Holy Comforter Episcopal Church (Atlanta)
- Veronica Ridenhour of St. Augustine of Canterbury Episcopal Church (Morrow)
- Zachary Thompson of Church of Our Saviour (Atlanta)
In addition, this year, Right Rev. Robert C. Wright issued a challenge for the Bishop’s Cup – the parish that raised the most funds for the Hunger Walk/Run would receive the coveted award trophy as well as a gift of $3,300 to be used for the parish’s outreach ministries. This year’s recipient of the Bishop’s Cup is St. Bartholomew’s Episcopal Church who raised $6,760! Special recognition goes to St. James Episcopal Church (Clayton) who came in a close second at $4,940 and to Church of Our Saviour, Christ Church (Norcross), and St. Catherine’s Episcopal Church who each raised more than $2,000 to help end hunger in the Episcopal Diocese of Atlanta.
For more information about the Hunger Walk/Run, including how you can create a team to support the event in 2018, please contact Lindsey Hardegree at 404.601.5362 or LHardegree@episcopalatlanta.org.