WESTFIELD – For the 28th year, Westfield’s Food Pantry will host its annual walk to raise funds and awareness about hunger in Westfield on Oct. 19.
When the Glow Walk began, it started as the Crop Walk that saw about 75 percent of its profits go out of the country, said Rebecca Hart, the director of the Westfield Food Pantry. However, all of the proceeds now go directly back into the food pantry.
“When the Westfield Food Pantry started hitting hard economic times about five years ago we decided we needed to keep the money local, so 100 percent of the proceeds will stay in Westfield,” Hart said.
She added, “This event will help pay for our rent, utilities, our insurance, salary and food for our clients, including the programming we run.”
One event the fundraiser will directly benefit is the high school Homeless Teen Giving Program.
“We adopt fifty kids from Westfield High and Tech Academy and we purchase gifts for them,” said Hart.
In addition to fundraising for the pantry, the walk also helps to raise awareness for hunger in the Westfield area.
“We serve 1,200 people a month and we rely on the community to support our efforts,” said Hart.
This year the food pantry is mixing things up with the way the walk works this year. In years past, there was a traditional 5K along with refreshments. “This year, there will be glow sticks and a dance party when you come back. There’ll be refreshments and you can walk as far or as little as you like or even just join us for the party if you make a donation,” Hart said.
Hart added that the Glow Walk is the biggest fundraiser for the pantry every year but they also offer a Singing Valentines event in February.
Last year the walk raised $5,000 for the food pantry and Hart said her goal is to meet that same milestone this year.
Interested teams and individuals can register online at the Westfield Food Pantry’s website or in person at the Glow Walk Oct. 19. Hart said the first 50 people to arrive at the event will receive a swag bag. Registration is free but Hart said they have a suggested donation of $20 per team.
For more information, email Rebecca Hart at