Annual Reaching-Out Walk Against Hunger marches on despite heavy rain

Walking in the rain! Non-profit organization Reaching-Out Community Services hosted its sixth annual Walk Against Hunger, an event to raise awareness of those in need within the community.

Boy and Cub Scouts of Pack and Troop 20 as well as students from P.S. 186 were among those who did the walk, beginning at Milestone Park, 18th Avenue between 81st and 82nd Streets.

The meet up was followed by a one hour walk that started at 11 a.m. on Saturday, October 4 throughout the neighborhood. Despite the pouring rain, the participants marched through, proudly wearing their blue Reaching-Out shirts and hoisting their troops’ and school’s banners. Music was also provided by radio station 92.3 AMP Radio. Councilmember Vincent Gentile also attended and announced that he will provide an additional $20,000 allocation to help hunger issues.

“The reason for the walk is to bring awareness of the silent shame of hunger in our community,” said Tom Neve, executive director of Reaching-Out. “The children recognize the hunger issues that many are facing in their community and their goal is to do something about it. And one of the things they do is food drives, to keep people fed in the community that they live in.”

Parents and scout leaders also joined in. “We try to do it every year,” said Robert Kiss, who partook in the soggy morning, along with his son Marcus, a Cub Scout. “We have families who need help, so we’re doing whatever we can to help them. The kids are starting to learn early on to help and do the best they can.”

Nine-year old Sal Siragusa, who was recently named president of the P.S. 186 student council, led the way. “I love helping and reaching out to people in need,” he said. “I think it was still fun (despite the rain). It’s a very important cause.”

“We do whatever we can to help the cause,” said Cub Scout Master and P.S. 186 Parent Coordinator Elaine Delaney. “The children know at a young age that no one should go to sleep hungry in this neighborhood. It’s nice to see even on a day like today, little kids out in rain with their families, trying to raise awareness that no one should go hungry in this area.”

“It makes them aware of the fact that within our own unit, there are people that use the pantry,” added Frank Maddalena, scout master for Boy Scout Troop 20. “Hunger is not a far off principle. It’s right here in your backyard and your own neighbor.”

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