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History

The Walk for Hunger is an extraordinary event sustained by ordinary people

The Walk brings together people from many different communities and cultures, and attracts parents, kids, students, and corporations. Everyone comes to offer hope to hungry people and to support Project Bread’s fresh approach to ending hunger: programs that help to provide those in need with sustainable access to healthy, nutritious food. Because the opposite of hungry isn’t just full, it’s healthy.

Always held on the first Sunday in May, for 49 years the Walk for Hunger has been a tradition in Massachusetts as the country's oldest continual pledge walk and the largest one-day fundraiser focused on alleviating hunger.

Founding Tradition

In 1969, the first Walk for Hunger was organized by Patrick Hughes and a group of activists from the Paulist Center. Hughes once said, "Hunger doesn't happen; it is caused." Wearing "foot power" buttons, approximately 2,000 people set out on a 29.6-mile trek through Quincy on Sunday, June 8, 1969 to make a powerful statement about hunger, and raised $26,000 to fund two local hunger programs.

Since its inception in 1969, the Walk for Hunger has raised more than $100 million through individual contributions of less than $100 – a powerful demonstration of neighbors caring for neighbors*. It has also gone through many changes over the years, from the length of the route, to the different towns and Massachusetts communities it passes through, to the different programs the money supports each year  yet the spirit of the Walk has remained the same. It is powered by the commitment and caring of people in this state who want to make a difference for those who struggle with hunger. It is a tradition that has been passed down through generations – from our youngest "Walkers" who haven't even taken their first steps yet, to our original Walkers who were part of the founding Walk in 1969 and are still walking today.

*Project Bread intentionally does not rely on the financial support of multinational food companies or companies whose products or work does not align with our mission. In doing so, our work can be shaped and driven expressly by the changing needs of the communities we serve.