That number rises to one in five when only children are considered. It balloons to one in three when factoring in only our African American and Latino population. In Virginia alone there are over nine-hundred thousand human beings facing what the USDA labels “food insecurity.” Inadequate access to food is a major problem for far too many people in a country as rich as ours — a nation in which roughly 49 million citizens struggle to put food on the table. Here, hunger isn’t caused by scarcity: Its source is the combined institutions of poverty and the waste of overconsumption. Nearly 40% of our food is tossed into the garbage can every year.
The 16th Annual Walk for Hunger
Registration: 8AM — Walk: 9AM
800 Williamsburg Avenue
Want to go? Click here for more Info
Enter Oasis Social Ministry – a private, not for profit, charitable corporation which has fought a battle against starvation since 1970. This year marks its 16th Annual Walk for Hunger.
For over 48 years, Oasis has worked throughout Portsmouth, Western Chesapeake, and Northern Suffolk, providing services to the working poor throughout the region. Their operations include a full-service kitchen that provides breakfast and lunch programs, a food bank, and a thrift store that provides free clothing and other needs for the region’s poor while maintaining a public facing outlet well known among bargain hunters.
In addition to these endeavors, the organization also partners with Portsmouth Volunteers for the Homeless alongside local churches who provide shelter as well as counseling, employment assistance, and other services for the less fortunate. Oasis itself has roots in the local multi-denominational community, having been born from an initiative through five local Catholic Parishes. The charitable corporation distributes over a million dollars worth of food, items and services annually.
Annual fundraising efforts center around a four kilometer walk intended to both raise awareness as well as money. This year’s theme is titled: “Comic Book Heroes vs. Star Warriors,” encouraging participants to cosplay as their favorite Marvel, DC, Image or other superhero or alternatively to represent the forces of Star Wars, Star Trek et al while gathering sponsors and pledges of donations for Oasis’ work. The forces that raises the most will be honored as champions. A costume contest will be held and other prizes awarded.
The event will begin at 8AM, Saturday May 5th with registration and warm-ups. The walk itself will begin at 9AM at Oasis headquarters — 800 Williamsburg Avenue, winding through Olde Towne and Downtown Portsmouth before returning to the starting point for lunch and the declaration of the winning side. Awards will be presented along with a concert featuring Caribbean steel drum player Karstan Stora with other musicians. Channel 13 Meteorologist, Lisha Scott, is the featured guest speaker.
Given the current economic climate, donations to food banks in recent years have dropped by as much as half, while requests for food assistance have risen. The fight against hunger is a crisis. Are you the hero Oasis is looking for?
Thanks to Oasis Social Ministry for sponsoring this story.