In 2011, the St. Joseph Conference of the St. Vincent de Paul Society raised $11,000 at the annual Friends of the Poor Walk, enough money to stock the St. Joseph Catholic Church food pantry for five months.
This year’s event will be from 9 to 11 a.m. Saturday at College Park, and organizers hope that they can replicate last year’s feat.
“Everything we raise local stays here local,” Dick Brantigan, president of the St. Joseph SVDPS, said.
As budgets get tighter and other local food pantries are getting more and more requests for assistance, St. Joseph is feeling the strain.
“We’re getting more and more requests and, truthfully, we’ve limited the time interval we can help people,” Brantigan said.
Previously, families could receive assistance from the St. Joseph food pantry every 60 days, but that has been extended to 90 days.
Any family or individual with household income at or below the poverty level is eligible for assistance. If funding permits, St. Joseph and SVDPS also help with utilities and rent.
In case of inclement weather, the event will be moved to the College Park Gym. Walking is free for participants and each walker is given a T-shirt. Funds are raised through donations and sponsorship of walkers.
For the 2012 event, the Most Rev. Ronald W. Gainer, bishop of the Lexington Diocese, will speak and St. Joseph Parish Priest Father Frank Brawner will deliver the invocation.
The food pantry has been serving local families for 16 years, and the St. Joseph Conference is one of the top 5 fundraisers out of SVDPS conferences nationwide.
For more information, call Brantigan at 771-0453.
Registration is permitted the day of the walk.