Before the Mashed Potatoes, Walk to End Hunger

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October 26, 2016 By: Jens Pinther Category: SHH News

For one family, Thanksgiving Day starts early each year. Before gathering with extended loved ones and before putting together a beautiful Thanksgiving meal, this family goes to the Mall of America to Walk to End Hunger for those who don’t have access to a holiday meal this season.

“We support hunger relief because everything in life starts with access to food – nothing is possible without it,” said John O’Connor from Team Taka, one of the teams that walks for Second Harvest Heartland each year.

The Mall of America (MOA) usually doesn’t open to the public for shopping until the evening (and this year they’ve announced they will be closed all of Thanksgiving Day), but the mall opens its doors every year for the Walk to End Hunger. Families get together and raise money for 12 local hunger relief agencies, including Second Harvest Heartland. Every year, we hear beautiful stories about why people walk.

“At my grandma’s funeral in November 2011,” said Nate Halverson, captain of the DSW Shoe Lovers Team, “I heard about all the remarkable, selfless things she had done in her life, and I was inspired to do something, too. That Thanksgiving, my immediate family and I joined the Walk to End Hunger.”

“Thanksgiving is a day to spend with friends and family, and I’ve loved seeing my DSW family bring their kids, spouses, and friends to continue the Thanksgiving tradition that I started with my family,” Nate said.

Since 2008, walkers and their loved ones have raised a total of $1.2 million to end hunger. The event itself is open to people of all ages, and there are prizes, games, live music, balloon animals, a visit from Santa, kids’ crafts tables and much more. It’s a great way to be with family and do something for our neighbors.

One of the best things about this event is people who participate in the Walk to End Hunger find it’s not only fun and rewarding, but also a great way to help others before you help yourself to seconds at dinner! “The Walk to End Hunger is a simple and easy thing many in our group can do to give thanks for the abundance in our lives and give back to help those in need,” John said.

Anyone who registers before Nov. 1 will be entered in a drawing to win great prizes. The Walk to End Hunger will be drawing prizes throughout the day on Nov. 1, including: 

  • A family package to the new Crayola Experience 
  • Two tickets for dinner and a show at Chanhassen Dinner Theater
  • Four free six-inch subs from Subway 
  • Two Nickelodeon Universe Unlimited Ride wristbands

All registered walkers who have raised $100 or more by Nov. 11 will be entered into a drawing for additional prizes! Prizes will be drawn throughout the day on Nov. 11 and they will include: 

  • A one-night stay at Radisson Blu 
  • A family package to the new Crayola Experience 
  • Four free six-inch subs from Subway 
  • Two Nickelodeon Universe prize packages (Unlimited Ride wristbands plus Moose Mountain Adventure Golf passes) 

Join the Second Harvest Heartland team today! Together, we can raise enough to help our neighbors have access to family meals.


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