On August 4, 2014, the Center for Interfaith Relations was among a dozen faith-based organizations that announced support for the annual Dare to Care Hunger Walk during a press event at Louisville’s Belvedere.
Keith Runyon spoke at the event on behalf of the Center for Interfaith Relations. Keith recalled how, as a young Courier-Journal writer on Thanksgiving 1969, he was involved in the story about the death of a west Louisville boy. This event shocked the community and led, among other things, to the creation of Dare to Care Food Bank.
Representatives of the local faith communities present at the event included Archbishop Joseph Kurtz, Terry Taylor of Interfaith Paths to Peace, as well as faith and community leaders of the Episcopal Church, Presbyterian Church USA, Unitarian Universalist, Buddhist, Muslim, Jewish and Baha’i traditions. Brian Riendeau, executive director of Dare to Care, saluted the faith groups for their support and encouraged residents of Louisville and the metro area to participate in the Hunger Walk on Sunday, September 14, at the Belvedere.
We asked Sarah Harris, managing director at the Center, to share her memories of the first Hunger Walk in 1977:
Almost 40 years ago, my family walked in the first hunger walk along with members of the Episcopal Church. Inspired by the death of Bobby Ellis, a nine year old boy who died of hunger on Thanksgiving Eve in 1969, faith and civic leaders acted under the name of Louisville United Against Hunger (LUAH), to launch Louisville’s first public issue walk in 1977. LUAH had two requirements for the walk. First, Dare to Care should be the driving force of this walk, and second, the proceeds should be split between serving the hungry in our local community and a world relief organization.
It saddens me that this walk is still necessary and that, according to Dare to Care Executive Director Brian Riendeau, the number of kids who don’t know where their next meal will come from is in fact growing dramatically. It heartening; however, to know that our community continues to unite and renew its commitment to end hunger, both locally and globally. It is a testament to the fine qualities of our faith communities that nearly 40 years after the senseless death of a young child, we still come together as one heart for common action.
The Center for Interfaith Relations is hosting a team of walkers and runners for the 2014 Hunger walk. We invite you and your families to join us on September 14th at the Belvedere to participate in this interfaith event!