Since 1975, the Bishop Hendricken community has come together for our annual “Hunger Walk” on Holy Thursday. Each year, our students, faculty, staff, alumni and friends, nearly 1000 strong, embark on a 10K walk from St. Kevin Church, through the neighborhoods of Warwick and back to Bishop Hendricken in support of the poor and marginalized in our society.
COVID-19 has bent, but not broken that 46 year tradition. In the wake of the pandemic, the annual walk took place virtually to raise awareness and funding for the Rhode Island Food Bank to feed those who need it now more than ever.
“Each year, the walk is an opportunity for us to stand in solidarity with the marginalized of our society, and do our part to make a difference in their lives,” said school chaplain, Father Brian Morris ‘03. “While this year’s walk didn’t take place as usual, we can still help and our Hendricken men stood ready to do their part, he added.
Bishop Hendricken’s 46th Annual Hunger Walk took place virtually from April 1 through April 9, Holy Thursday. Mr. Thomas Gambardella ‘76, Director of Mission & Ministry, kicked off the Hunger Walk on April 1 by explaining that participants could choose the duration, distance, and location of their walk while remembering that they are doing so in solidarity with the poor, homeless, and hungry.
Mr. Gambardella challenged three people to participate in the Walk in accordance with all social distancing guidelines. Hendricken then asked those three people to record themselves while walking, post it to social media (in order to create awareness) using the hashtag, #MyHungerWalk, then nominate three other people to take their walk, and finally, to donate to the Rhode Island Food Bank.
The challenge caught fire and participants from all over the country got involved. The three students who attended last year’s ACTION Student Leadership Workshop challenged students from other schools in the Edmund Rice Network and they readily jumped in to help the cause. Many alumni and friends of Hendricken posted to social media, as well, showing the reach of our school and the Edmund Rice Network.
Over $13,000 was raised to give immediate support to the Food Bank, which has been deluged with requests for help during this time. Once again, Bishop Hendricken demonstrated to the community that “we don’t just talk the talk, we walk the Walk!”