LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) — The Greater Lafayette community gathered at Riehle Plaza Sunday for the 2021 Hunger Hike, one of the biggest fundraisers of the year for Lafayette Urban Ministry.
The 3K walk benefits LUM, Food Finders Food Bank and the St. Thomas Aquinas Haiti ministry.
Last year's event happened virtually due to the pandemic but still reached the $100,000 goal. LUM is close to meeting the same goal this year, says executive director Wes Tillett.
Ahead of the hike, walkers enjoyed live music, face painting and balloon animals, as well as appearances by the Purdue cheer team, rowing team and Purdue Pete.
Tillett says food is basic human necessity that everyone needs and deserves.
"You think of a hierarchy of needs and this isn't about self-actualization; this is about getting through the day and having what you need to survive. If you don't have that basic need met, community, belonging, self-actualization -- some of those higher-end needs most of us get to enjoy most of our lives -- those things don't matter if you're hungry," he says.
Tillett says the hike attracts a diverse group of people, from people experiencing homelessness themselves to CEOs and elected officials.
He says he's grateful for the community support of the event. The Hunger Hike has raised $2 million in 39 years.