RINGWOOD, N.J. – Last year, the Center for Food Action helped more than 2,000 households in Bergen and Passaic counties with rent, security deposits and utility and heating bills, as well as distributed more than 64,000 emergency and holiday food packages.
That assistance was made possible in part by the community members who support the center and its mission to “prevent hunger and homelessness and improve the lives of individuals and families living in poverty.”
This weekend, some of those supporters will gather in Ringwood to show support for their neighbors in need and raise money to help them during their struggles.
The Ringwood Hunger Walk will take place at 1 p.m. Sunday at Shepherd Lake in Ringwood State Park.
According to Linda Somwaru, manager of the center’s sites in Ringwood and Mahwah, the walk is the lone event where the organization asks for money instead of food. She said the money raised primarily will go toward the the center’s homelessness prevention program and will benefit people in Ringwood and the surrounding communities.
“The money is really badly needed because during wintertime we are able to help people keep their heat on,” Somwaru told Daily Voice. “If somebody is at risk of losing their housing, we can help with their rent.”
The event, sponsored by Ringwood-area houses of worship, is the 20th consecutive hunger walk to be in Ringwood, Somwaru said.
“We usually get a pretty good crowd. Between the churches and the high school they really do come out and support us,” she said. “It is amazing.”
The community has been busy fundraising for the cause. Those wishing to help raise money, or donate themselves, can pick up an official envelope at the Ringwood Public Library or any house of worship in the borough, Sowaru said.
Donations also can be made directly to the the center by making a check out to the Ringwood Hunger Walk and sending it to the center's Ringwood site, 145 Carlentondale Road, Ringwood, NJ 07456.
The Center for Food Action, headquartered in Englewood, also has sites in Fairview, Hackensack, Mawhah, Ridgefield and Saddle Brook.
For more information, visit cfanj.org.