AMHERST — The Amherst Survival Center will host its fourth annual Hike for Hunger throughout the month of October. Hike for Hunger is an opportunity to enjoy the beautiful fall foliage while ensuring neighbors have access to nutritious food. Registration is open and will remain open throughout the month of October at www.amherstsurvival.org/hikeforhunger.
People can register as individuals or as part of a team and set their own hiking and fundraising goals. Come October, participants will head out on the trails wherever and whenever they’d like and invite family and friends to support their efforts by making a donation.
Registration costs $25 and includes a 2023 Hike for Hunger sling bag. Participants will have a chance to earn Hike for Hunger swag and prizes in categories such as top fundraiser, top fundraising team, most miles walked or hiked, and most donors. Prizes include four tickets to Adventure East’s Full Moon Hike experience, a $450 day out on the town and two tickets to any show at the Drake from Amherst Downtown, and a hand-painted boot sign from local artist and business owner Jess Marsh of Hired Hand Signs, to name a few. There will also be a prize drawing, and all registrants have a chance to win bonus prizes.
“With the current costs of food, housing, and other necessities far outpacing wages for many, we are seeing record numbers of people turning to the Amherst Survival Center each month to help make ends meet,” said Lev BenEzra, executive director of the Amherst Survival Center. “Our goal is to make healthy food accessible to all who need it by offering free groceries onsite and via home delivery; by providing prepared meals here and to-go; providing more fresh produce, milk, and eggs each month; and ensuring we have lots of variety for people to choose from to meet their family’s needs. Participating in Hike for Hunger is one way we can all do something to make sure our neighbors have access to the food and nutrition they need.”
Proceeds from the event support the Amherst Survival Center’s food and nutrition programs, including food pantry (on-site, curbside pickup, and delivery), community meals, and daily produce distribution. In the last year, the center provided 1.3 million meals — prepared and groceries — to nearly 8,600 people, far outpacing previous years.
For those who register, Adventure East is sponsoring optional group hikes that will be led by the folks at Kestrel Land Trust. One will be held at Mount Norwottuck on Sunday, Oct. 1, and another will take place at the Silvio O. Conte Nature Trail on Saturday, Oct. 14. There will also be a final group hike and celebration on Mt. Sugarloaf on Saturday, Oct. 28. Group hikes have a limited number of slots and require advance sign-up. Learn more on the Hike for Hunger website.
For more information, to register to hike, or to make a contribution, visit www.amherstsurvival.org/hikeforhunger.