Putting a stop to hunger one step at a time.
Reaching-Out Community Services, a pantry founded to help those in need within the local community, held its Ninth Annual Walk and Support Against Hunger on Saturday, September 23.
Attendees walked about a mile, from New Utrecht Avenue between 77th and 78th Street down to Bay Ridge Avenue and 18th Avenue and back to the Reaching-Out facility.
Founder of the organization Tom Neve was pleased that the tradition continues. “It went really well and very smoothly,” he said. “It was a very nice turnout as it always seems to be. It’s another way for us to continue to try to end the silence of hunger in the communities that we serve so people don’t forget our neighbors around us in need and help those who struggle to put food on the table.”
The main objective of the walk is to raise awareness not only for the needy, but the entire community. “It’s to keep the program going and also to keep the awareness that people go without food and there’s an organization that can help,” Neve said. “We’re not going to be a hospital with the lights off so to speak. We need to let people know that we are here so it’s a community awareness process as well. People still don’t know that we exist, especially if they’re new to the community. And maybe they’re new to the fact that they found themselves in a vulnerable position where now they lost their job and they’re in bad shape and not sure where to turn.”
After the walk, attendees were treated to the second annual Brooklyn’s Got Talent competition, where contestants entertained attendees and competed for prize money.
“We added that feature to give people a little more enjoyment and it went great,” he said. “One of the things we do is allow people to share different talents and also contribute to the cause of hunger by their financial support. That helps as well. They like to give back and share their talent. That’s the reason they do that.”
The added event also helps spread the word. “Education is important and even if some people don’t need it, somebody else does,” he said. “I’m just trying to reach the hearts that can help. Charity begins at home and you have companies and businesses that should be considering to help first where we live. That’s my goal.”
Sponsors for the walk include Amalgamated Bank, Campagna & Sons, Connors & Sullivan Attorneys at Law PLLCS, Dyker Heights Civic Association, Joro Carting Inc., Panino Rustico, S & B Electrical Supply, State Senator Marty Golden, St. Athanasius R.C. Church, St. Frances Cabrini R.C. Church, St. Mary, Mother of Jesus Church and Wellcare Health Plans.
Sponsors for Brooklyn’s Got Talent were Empire State Bank for the junior contest and Empire State Development LLC for the adult contest.