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Armstrong Walk for Hunger raises over $8,000 for food banks

Several walkers at this year’s Walk for Hunger on Sunday, Sept. 18, morning at the Zelienople Community Park are almost at the finish line of the 1K walk. Shane Potter/Butler Eagle

Upward of 100 people gathered in the Zelienople Community Park on Sunday, Sept. 18, to gather resources for people facing food insecurity at the fifth Armstrong “A Walk For Hunger” event.

The walk is organized through the Armstrong Breaking Bread program and spearheaded each year by a Seneca Valley student as a senior project. The walk raises money for community feeding programs, including the Lighthouse Foundation, Southwest Butler Food Cupboard, Gleaner's Food Bank, Victory Family Church and Holy Redeemer Social Services in Ellwood City.

Armstrong community marketing manager Seth Prentice said the event raised a total of $8,500 this year, with $2,700 coming from the day of the event itself, $3,500 from sponsorships, and $1,800 from online donations.

The funds raised beat Seneca Valley student Avery Flood’s original goal of $7,000, Prentice said.

“I think we were all stunned yesterday when we did the check unveiling,” he said. “I never thought we would beat $5,000 a couple years ago, let alone have someone fundraise $8,500 for the food banks. It's just incredible.”

From left, Taylor Kopp and Julie Kopp hand a check for $8,300 to this year’s event organizer Avery Flood. Taylor was the second senior to organize the event, and Julie was the first. This is the fifth year for the Walk for Hunger, held at the Zelienople Community Park. Shane Potter/Butler Eagle
Alecia Flood helps direct people who are registering for the fifth annual Walk for Hunger held on Sunday, Sept. 18, at Zelienople Community Park. Shane Potter/Butler Eagle

The event had a good-sized turnout compared to previous years, he said.

“Compared to last year, I would say we are back to normal-sized crowds,” he said. “2020 and 2021 were tough, but I think people are starting to get out and show support for community events again.”

Yoga instructor Alison Schuster, right, helps walkers warm up with some yoga just before the start of this year’s Walk for Hunger at Zelienople Community Park on Sunday, Sept. 18. Shane Potter/Butler Eagle

Heading into the fall and winter, Prentice is confident that people will continue to donate and support their local food banks.

“September for Hunger Action Month through Feeding America is the kickoff into donation season. So I would say I have a lot of faith that people are going to come out and continue to support our food banks and hopefully we can still find new ways to give back,” he said. “I have a lot of faith that we are helping to take care of our own neighbors and our communities that we serve.”

Walkers young and old start the fifth annual Walk for Hunger held Sunday, Sept. 18, at the Zelienople Community Park. Shane Potter/Butler Eagle
Caroline Radonovich, daughter Julia and "Belle“ came out to the Zelienople Community Park for this year’s Walk for Hunger on Sunday, Sept. 18. Shane Potter/Butler Eagle