More than three decades ago, Atlanta Community Food Bank Founder Bill Bolling and other community leaders organized the very first Hunger Walk. Since 1984, the event has evolved into a walk/run and has continued to grow into our biggest fundraiser, with thousands coming together to help put an end to hunger in Metro Atlanta and North Georgia. We believe this year’s event was truly one of the best yet.
So many of our supporters braved what was set to be a very rainy day and descended upon Turner Field in huge numbers. We know our sponsors, community partners and dedicated volunteers are the reason the sun came out in full force, making for a beautiful day and race.
More than 13,000 people from all walks of life - families, businesses, civic groups, faith groups, and more - participated to raise funds for the Atlanta Community Food Bank and five other organizations. Our benefiting partners were Episcopal Charities Foundation, Jewish Federation of Greater Atlanta, Lutheran Services of Georgia, Presbytery of Greater Atlanta and St. Vincent de Paul Society, Inc. Every year, these partners play a tremendous role in bringing people to the event.
From our volunteers to our sponsors, so many made the day not only successful, but possible. We couldn’t do it without you! Special thanks go to Title Sponsor, the Arby’s Foundation, and Presenting Sponsors: The Coca-Cola Company, Cox Automotive and Delta Air Lines, and a host of other businesses who lent their sponsorship efforts to the Hunger Walk/Run.
11Alive’s Brenda Wood and 92.9 The Game’s John Michaels revved up the crowd and handled our stage show with the ease that only two passionate media professionals could do. The incredible Sounds of Essence and DJ Bigg H provided the soundtracks to the day of fun, and we loved seeing each of you dancing in the crowd. Our guests were in awe of the performers from the Imperial Opa Circus, the Atlanta RollerGirls, the Flight Crew from the Atlanta Hawks, and the Seed & Feed Marching Abominable Band, along with so many others.. Anyone who was there can testify the food truck selection continues to grow each year and who can resist a great meal from some of Atlanta’s best?
Our Champions Club is made up of women and men who went above and beyond in their fundraising efforts by raising more than $500 for the Hunger Walk/Run. They are each so passionate about our mission to end hunger in Metro Atlanta & North Georgia. More than 170 individuals earned a spot in the HWR 2016 Champions Club in 2016. We must tip our hat to our top champion Sally Kaplan who raised more than $26,000 on behalf of the Jewish Federation of Greater Atlanta, and in honor of her late mother, Helen Cavalier, who was also a top fundraiser.
The Dine & Donate program is a big part of our fundraising effort for the Hunger Walk/Run. The program lets customers at participating locations either round up their total bill to give funds to the race or use an additional line on their receipt to give to the event. 57 local restaurants participated this year, doubling our 2015 numbers. One of our partners, Fifth Group restaurants, went above and beyond, forming a team and raising more than $80,000 in funds. They took the 2016 award for ‘Top Team’ at this year’s race.
We know that some people weren’t able to make it, but you can still donate to help us meet our goal. Online donations will be accepted through Thursday, March 31. Click here to contribute. Offline donations will be accepted through Friday, April 1. We will reveal the final fundraising total this spring, so stay tuned!
Once again, thank you to everyone who supported our 32nd annual Hunger Walk/Run. We are grateful for your time, dedication and passionate fundraising to provide meals to hungry children, families and seniors in our communities.