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SMC walks to feed the hungry of South Bend

Abigail Forney | Monday, April 4, 2011

Saint Mary’s College raised $100 and 150 cans and boxes of food Sunday at their third annual “Yes We Can!” Walk for the Hungry.

The purpose of the event was to raise awareness among the campus community about the poverty in South Bend, Ind., and help raise food for local food pantries, said Carla Leal, one of the event’s organizers.

Leal said students are in the Saint Mary’s “bubble” and don’t encounter people who need help even when they do go off campus.

The city of South Bend has a high poverty rate and most of the schools are Title1, which means they have a high percentage of students in poverty or at risk for poverty, Leal said. These students and families are the people local food pantries serve through the Catholic Charities network.

Students working for the Walk for the Hungry event believe that even if they can’t stop hunger worldwide or nationwide, they can work toward stopping hunger in South Bend, Leal said.

Fifty people showed up for the walk in spite of bad weather, knowing the event would take place even if it rained. Student Maire Ready said that if it did, she would still be out walking because the Walk for the Hungry supported a good cause.

 “It’s the little actions — they take a minute of our time,” Ready said.

Alicia Grumley, one of the event’s organizers, looked to the Koran, Judaism and Christianity to support the event’s message, and said that all three call for followers to assist the less fortunate.

“It is our responsibility and our call to feed the hungry,” Grumley said.

The entire group walked from the Saint Mary’s Student Center, down the Avenue to the Grotto. All participants were invited to say a prayer or light a candle before walking back to Saint Mary­­s as a group.

The Office for Civic and Social Engagements (OCSE), which started the Walk for the Hungry three years ago, was pleased with how many people participated in the event and hope it will continue to grow.

The food and money the event raised will be donated to local food pantries through Catholic Charities.