Under the bright afternoon sun, wave after wave of orange and blue rolls north along Piedmont Avenue, moves west on Auburn Avenue, and then surges south on Courtland Street, eventually crashing into Turner Field. Don’t worry: this is not a repeat of the 2009 floods. Rather, it’s the sea of walkers and runners donning blue and orange t-shirts who flowed through the streets during the Hunger Walk/Run 2013. On March 10, over 15,000 participants joined the Atlanta Community Food Bank, Lutheran Services of Georgia, and a host of faith-based nonprofits for the event. Hundreds of Lutherans from over 40 congregations walked with LSG, making the Hunger Walk one of the largest gatherings of Lutherans in Atlanta each year.
Running or walking the 5k route, the Lutherans showed their support for the work that the Food Bank and LSG are doing to relieve hunger throughout Georgia. Some congregations went all out for the event. The folks from Trinity Lutheran Church in Lilburn, the top fundraiser for the last couple of years, sported bright yellow t-shirts with an image of a pirate and their theme “sink hunger” written on them. One participant even came with a bandana and a parrot propped on her shoulder—a true pirate.
Two Lutherans made names for themselves by logging the fastest times for men and women in the event. Ross Gudger, a member of Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in Woodstock, and Constance Mithelman, a volunteer with Lutheran Volunteer Corps, blew away the competition, finishing the race in less than 20 minutes.
In addition to providing the fastest runners, the Lutheran congregations also raised more than $66,000 to fight hunger in Georgia. Even though the churches still have until March 31 to collect money, The Hunger Walk Pirates at Trinity are firmly settled in first place, having already garnered $11,740.71. Cross of Life Lutheran Church, Rivercliff Lutheran Church, St. John’s Lutheran Church (in Atlanta), Prince of Peace Lutheran Church, and Grace Lutheran Church (in Carrollton) are battling it out for second place, each congregation having raised around $5,000. Who will take home the trophy and the other prizes? Stay tuned to find out.
LSG thanks all the congregations, families, and individuals who donated to the Hunger Walk and walked with LSG during the event. Your enthusiasm, energy, and effort have raised awareness about hunger issues across Georgia and will help us to feed those in need during 2013. Great job, everyone!
To see more photographs from the event, visit our facebook page: www.facebook.com/LSofGA