Since 2009, 444 teams, totaling nearly 3,100 individuals, have walked on behalf of Second Harvest Heartland. With the help of their families and friends, they have raised nearly $270,000 and generated more than 800,000 meals for our hungry neighbors. We are incredibly grateful to every walker, walk team and donor for bringing awareness to the issue of hunger in Minnesota and helping us end hunger through community partnerships.
Featured below are past Walk to End Hunger teams, who have shared with us their reasons for walking and supporting Second Harvest Heartland.
I don’t think I realized until my adult life how big of a problem hunger is in the Twin Cities. I think it’s a really impactful thing that it’s done on Thanksgiving—it resonates with people, gets people thinking about food and giving back. The other reason, we started it when we adopted our first son. This is a really good opportunity from a very young age to learn about hunger. (Note: the Bellin family just adopted their second son, who will have his first Walk to End Hunger this year!)
DSW Shoe Lovers
At my grandma’s funeral in November 2011, I heard about all the remarkable, selfless things she had done in her life, and I was inspired to do something, too. So that Thanksgiving, my immediate family and I joined the Walk to End Hunger. Eventually, I wanted to make more of an impact, so I reached out to my peers at DSW – and our district rallied behind the event. In retail, it’s rare to have a day when none of us has to work, and now we all get to spend a few hours together, being active and doing something good for a great cause. 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.
Team Krag Krushers
It’s a fair number of people, it’s relaxed. It’s less about walking itself, more about a gathering of people who feel strongly toward eliminating people being hungry. As early in the morning as it is on a holiday, everyone is cheery. Hopefully we’re providing food and hope for people. I think hope is huge. If you got it, you can make a lot of things happen.
Team Swalley Family
It can seem kind of bizarre going to a relatively empty shopping mall on Thanksgiving morning. It’s really nice to get in a nice warm location and be surrounded by people—it’s very supportive. There’s lots of happy people and music, and everyone’s there to do something worthwhile. They make it so easy—someone whose mobility’s limited can participate, or if you’re pushing a stroller, you can still do it. We always have a good time and we feel good about what we’re doing there.
We support hunger relief because everything in life starts with access to food – nothing is possible without it. Our family focuses a great deal of our giving on basic needs such as food and shelter. 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.