BY RON FEINBERG / Web Editor //
Mother Nature was onboard for this year’s Hunger Walk on March 10, and so were several thousand Atlantans, including representatives from the Jewish Federation of Greater Atlanta, Jewish Family & Career Services, at least a half-dozen metro Atlanta synagogues and several other Jewish organizations.
“It’s a pretty day, and this is a fun thing to do,” said Diane Cohen, a member of Ahavath Achim in Atlanta. “And it’s all for a really great cause.”
The parking area around Turner Field was packed with participants – an estimated 15,000 people, according to early reports. Like Cohen, most everyone spent the afternoon enjoying the balmy weather, festive atmosphere and three-mile stroll through downtown Atlanta.
Walkers and runners were decked out in an assortment of cool and colorful sporting gear, including t-shirts that offered a variety of messages (Praying With My Feet) and team alliances (Sinai Striders).
Good will and good times aside, this year’s Hunger Walk – a project of the Atlanta Community Food Bank – managed to raise hundreds of thousands of dollars for the hungry. Proceeds benefit the Food Bank and other local nonprofit organizations that support food pantries, community kitchens, shelters and other such programs.
The Jewish Federation of Greater Atlanta both supports and benefits from The Hunger Walk. Through the Federation’s Hunger Walk/Run campaign, the Jewish community supported 23 organizations last year, including kosher food programs, shelters, and food distribution programs in Atlanta, across the U.S. and even in Israel.
“We come out every year to take part,” said Rabbi Mark Zimmerman of Congregation Beth Shalom in Dunwoody. “It’s the Jewish thing to do.”