TIPPECANOE COUNTY, Ind. (WLFI) – The Hunger Hike has become a Lafayette tradition.
“Hunger Hike is our community’s oldest and really most respected fundraising walk,” said Lafayette Urban Ministry Executive Director Joe Micon.
This year, the tradition that began in the 1960′s is coming with some changes. Due to construction on the John T. Meyers Pedestrian Bridge, this year’s starting line is moving.
“We’re not able to stage our site where we usually do at Riehle Plaza, so this year, we are here in the east end of the Levee Plaza parking lot,” said Micon.
Micon said the new starting location will take participants through Tapawingo Park, allowing them to enjoy not only the park itself, but other local festivities.
“We’re going to bringing about 1,000 people walking right through Art on the Wabash, so that’s a really good link and partnership as well,” said Micon.
An additional 5K run has also been added the day before the hike, Saturday, September 20. The run will start at 8 a.m. at Cumberland Park in West Lafayette, and will give runners a scenic experience.
“It goes through forests, lakes, around close to three different gazebos. So, it’s a great event,” said Micon.
Last year, the hike raised more than $90,000. This year, the goal has been increased to $125,000 as the need to fight hunger continues to grow.
“The problem of hunger has not gotten better,” said Food Finder’s Food Bank Executive Director Katy Bunder. “As the economy has improved and people have gone back to work, people have gone back to jobs that don’t pay as well as the jobs they lost before the recession. So, the need for food is just constant.”
To help meet that goal, a year-round fundraising committee has been put together.
While several changes are on the map for this year’s hike, there is one thing that still remains the same.
“We want to make sure that everyone knows this is more about raising community awareness, it’s about raising much-needed money for important community programs,” said Micon.
This year’s Hunger Hike kicks off on Sunday, September 21. For more details or to register, click here.