The 13th annual Walking Tour to End Maine Hunger concluded December 3rd at the University Credit Union branch in Orono at 1:30 p.m.
When I signed up, I expected a traditional "walk," from point A to point B. However, the walk's name, "Walking Tour to End Maine Hunger" is the proper entitlement, because this walk truly is a walking tour. It is an awareness-raising journey across Maine's communities to open the eyes of those who are involved. I finished the walk with a changed outlook on our Maine communities, friends, and neighbors.
I never expected how heartfelt and impactful the journey would be.
As I joined Brenda Davis, leading ending Maine hunger advocate, I learned about her story. She started the tour 13 years ago, when she saw to what extent people must go to obtain a meal. Since then, she has braved the unpredictable weather to complete her journey and to walk in the shoes of those in need. It takes courage and bravery to walk miles to obtain food when transportation is unavailable. It takes courage and bravery to walk into a food pantry and ask for help. And it takes courage and bravery to see our world from a different perspective, as Brenda has.
Along the way, she stops at various food pantries to hear stories and to make donations. Her passion for this cause is vibrant as she listens and advocates for those in need. This year, she stopped in 83 communities across the state. Brenda explained that the touching stories are what keep her going. The journey is about the relationships that you build. It is not only offering assistance to those in need, it is being a part of their life. As the past Director of Cross Roads Ministries in Old Town, Brenda has established many meaningful relationships. She has been to graduations, weddings, even funerals, for those with whom she built lasting relationships.
Yesterday, Brenda, her friend Betty, and I began what was set to be a six-mile journey. We began at Brewer Federal Credit Union, and we walked to the Brewer Area Food Pantry to make a donation to their organization. For those who have never been inside a food pantry, it is inspiring to see people volunteering their time and energy to offer hope to those who may not have all the resources they need to survive. We ended the walk in Orono. Check out this short video on the Walking Tour to End Maine Hunger, and we hope to see you next year!