SOUTH BRUNSWICK, NJ – The rain held off Sunday afternoon as about 100 parishioners of the town’s various houses of worship came together in Veterans Park to walk against hunger, raising some $2,700 for the local food bank.
Six-Mile Run Reform Church Pastor Rev. Osy Nuesch helped organize the annual Interfaith Walk Against Hunger on behalf of the South Brunswick Clergy Association, representing 10 different houses of worship in the community.
“We have been sponsoring this (walk) for a number of years through another organization, at that point only 25 percent of the monies received went to the local charity,” Nuesch said. “We decided last year to sponsor the work of the South Brunswick Food Bank more directly.”
Participants brought food items to donate to the food bank or cash donations as a “ticket” to enter the event.
Walkers then took to the path around the park on Beekman Road, which is about a half-mile in length.
Nuesch told the walkers that they were welcome to walk around the path as much as they wanted, but that there were also stations for various outdoor games spread along the route so that they could take time and enjoy the day with their families and others.
In an effort to help the people interact, everyone was given a “human bingo” card that encouraged folks to talk with each other and check off a box on the card by writing the person’s name that fit the category described.
Those with three or more names, received a coupon for a free ice cream at Confectionatley Yours in Franklin Park, he said.
The churches represented ran the gamut of seven protestant denominations, two catholic churches, a Jewish synagogue and the Islamic Society of Central Jersey, he said.
“This is going to be a fun day, the weather is holding up,” he said.
In addition to the games and the walk, participants were treated to the Molly Mason Band, who provided live music during the day.
“The Interfaith Hunger Walk was a great event with individuals and families from numerous houses of faith of the greater South Brunswick area coming together while helping to provide for those in need,” Board of Education Member and ISCJ parishioner Azra Baig said. “I am grateful to be part of the wonderful South Brunswick community where we value the importance of taking care of each other in the community regardless of one's background, race or religion.”
Township Councilman Joe Camarota, who lives in a neighboring development, also stopped by the event.
South Brunswick Director of Social Services Jeanne Wert thanked the participants for helping the food pantry and said the department helped some 4,000 people last year, amounting to about 1,200 families.
“Many people are surprised how many people are in need in the community,” Wert said. “There is a tremendous need in our community. It is so important to bring awareness (to it).”
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