RINGWOOD, N.J. — What started as a small gathering 20 years ago has evolved into an "institution": The Ringwood Hunger Walk at Shepherd Lake on Sunday, Nov. 1, will raise funds for the local Center for Food Action.
"We evolved into something that's really become an important and permanent happening here in Ringwood," said Jason Okin, one of the organizers.
All of the local religious organizations take part in the walk. People bring monetary donations rather than food itself, which helps the needy quicker, Okin said.
It's also a dollar-stretcher: Organizers are able to purchase $9 of food for every $1 they raise, thanks to a deal with a Hillside warehouse.
This year, the walk will honor two longtime participants, Nancy and Jim O'Rourke. The couple sauntered around Shepherd Lakeat previous fundraisers into their 90s, but both died earlier this year.
"For years they were the oldest hunger walkers," Okin said. "Two lovely people."
Anywhere between 100 to 300 people generally come to the walk. Each year raises about $14,000, Okin said.
John Sumislaski, a member of the Knights of Columbus who helps set up, said the walk always makes for a fun day.
"It's great for the Center of Food Action," he said. "It's badly needed, the food."
To participate: Donor envelopes can be picked up at any house of worship in Ringwood.
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