With close to a couple hundred hungry mouths lining up outside Christian Ministry’s soup kitchen facility on certain days this season, officials with the nonprofit organization are encouraging local residents to participate in Sunday’s fourth annual Hunger Walk in Lincolnton and help curb the area’s dire food need.
All proceeds will benefit the organization’s LINC Home Meals Program in which meals are delivered daily to homes across the county. Carolinas Medical Center-Lincoln provides the meals, but with the number of LINC recipients increasing 35 percent in the last year, Christian Ministry has been forced to use its own funds to purchase the additional hospital meals.
Since January, the organization has fed more than 5,000 area families and is gearing up for the holiday season when numbers will only increase. In addition, more than 1,000 families have requested food assistance since 2011, according to a previous Times-News article.
Additional money from the event will go towards soup kitchen supplies and stocking the facility’s always dwindling pantry.
“They are struggling with funding,” Hunger Walk Chairman Charles Stevens told the Times-News on Monday about Christian Ministry.
While the event began in the 1980s as a CROP Walk, benefiting both local and worldwide hunger, Stevens said nonprofit officials changed the walk four years ago to strictly support Christian Ministry.
The walk drew in $9,100 from more than 100 walkers last year. This year, Stevens has his fingers-crossed that at least $10,000 will pour in with “as many walkers as possible” taking part in the fundraiser.
In addition, a $50 gift card for pizza will be given to the church youth group who turns in the largest donation on the day of the walk.
Stevens and his wife started volunteering with the organization, delivering LINC meals bi-weekly, after he retired from pastoring Pisgah United Methodist Church and Rhyne Heights UMC, both in Lincolnton.
Registration for the event will start 2:30 p.m. Sunday at Christian Ministry, 230 E. Water Street in Lincolnton. For more information, call (704) 732-2691. Registration forms are available 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. weekdays at Christian Ministry.
The walk will commence at the organization and take walkers down Main Street, past the Lincolnton Police Department and back around the courthouse.
Participants are also encouraged to bring non-perishable food items to the event including but not limited to rice, canned goods and toilet paper.