It was threatening to rain when I pulled up to the back parking lot of Wilbur Cross High School at 12:45 PM on Sunday, May 6. Several groups of people were already making their way towards the colorful balloon crowned Edgewood Park entrance, some pushing baby carriages and some being pulled by anxious and energetic dogs.
At the pavilion area, volunteers in orange and green T-shirts were lined up at the check-in tables, laying out fruit and water at the food tables and preparing to hand out T-shirts to the more than 200 expected volunteers for the third annual Walk Against Hunger in New Haven. Groups in colorful T-shirts with their company logos or group names gathered in designated areas around the pavilion.
After checking in and picking up my free T-shirt with the Walk Against Hunger design on the front, I walked around and greeted all of the CT Food Bank directors that I have come to know through fundraisers, programs and state meetings as chairman of the GFWC/CT state project, CT Food Bank/FoodShare. Everyone was there, pitching in for the biggest organized fundraiser of the year for the CT Food Bank.
After making the rounds, I sat on a stone wall on the perimeter of the crowd, watching and waiting for the walk to begin. It was then that I spotted a familiar banner and a consortium of four women wearing no-nonsense tennis shoes and magenta T-shirts with the Madison Women’s Club logo monogrammed on the upper left chest. I approached them and introduced myself and they immediately invited me to walk with them. I remember their group from last year and found them just as enthusiastic and ready to go as before.
We made our way to the entrance of the park as the pre-walk announcements began and, just as the sun broke through the clouds, we set out on a nice brisk walk along the well-manicured streets near Edgewood Park. The 18th century and early 19th architecture provided a fabulous feast for the eyes and the scent of lilacs and lilies drifted in our path as we soldiered on, block by block, passing event volunteers as they stopped traffic and cheered us on.
Finally, after zipping along the sidewalks for two and a half miles, we returned to the park tired and ready for the delicious treats provided by several of the sponsors of the walk, including Chabaso Bakery, Subway, and Farmer’s Cow. It was a fun way to spend a Sunday afternoon, and such a worthy cause.
The CT Food Bank provides food products to approximately 600 soup kitchens, shelters, food pantries and child and adult day programs in Fairfield, Litchfield, Middlesex, New Haven, New London and Windham counties. For every dollar donated, the CT Food Bank can distribute $5 worth of food at wholesale value. For more information, go to www.ctfoodbank.org.