State Capitol walkers support Food Bank, boost anti-hunger cause
By Patrick B. McGuigan
Even when the Legislature is not in session, activists of all varieties and on behalf of all perspectives tend to congregate on and around the Capitol grounds to advocate for what they deem worthy causes. Several dozen anti-hunger activists and students braved warm temperatures and bright sunshine to support an anti-hunger walk at the state Capitol today (Sunday, June 6).
Contributions raised by the walkers will go to the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma, the United Nations World Food Program, or other efforts to combat childhood hunger.
Joshua Ou of Oklahoma City organized the event, according to Carmen Clay, director of Service Learning at Casady School, a private preparatory school on the north side of the city. Putnam City North High School in Oklahoma City was also represented at the gathering, along with Heritage Hall and Casady alumni.
Helping pull the operation together was Marathon runner Mark Bravo, author of “Momentum” and representative of the Respect Diversity Foundation in Oklahoma City. Before embarking on their circle routes around the Capitol Buildings, marchers warmed up to the “fun steps” of Zumba-OKC instructors, Kimberly and José Muñoz.
“Walk Marshal” was Bill Bryant of the U.N. Association of Oklahoma (www.una-okc.org). Walkers were encouraged to bring refillable water bottles and make the event a “green walk.”
Promoting that “green” concept, ice water stations were available on the walking route, but no cups were provided. Walkers were encouraged to bring reusable or recycled water bottles or containers. Rather than preparing special t-shirts, participants were asked to wear “recycled” shirts decorated with facts about hunger or pointing to what motivated them to join the walk.
In addition to the aforementioned participants, other groups represented on the walk were Peace House, the Peace Education Institute, and Mercy School.
The local event was tied in with “End Hunger-Walk the World,” (http://www.wfp.org/how-to-help/individuals/walk-the-world) an annual walk that takes place in 24-time zones to raise awareness and money for the United Nations World Food Program’s efforts to fight childhood hunger and malnutrition.
End Hunger-Walk the World 2009 had 360,000 walkers in 210 locations, raising enough money to provide school meals to 20,000 children in the world’s poorest countries for one year, according to sponsors.