‘Love Thy Neighbor Walk’ raises awareness for hunger and homelessness in Kanawha Valley

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Organizers with the Roark-Sullivan Lifeway Center and Kanawha Valley Collective and other Charleston community leaders walked through downtown Tuesday to raise awareness for hunger and homelessness.

Across the nation its Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week, co-sponsored by the National Coalition for the Homeless and the National Student Campaign Against Hunger and Homelessness.

The ‘Love Thy Neighbor Walk’ started at the Roark-Sullivan Lifeway Center on Smith Street and went to Capitol Street then to Manna Meal on Quarrier Street.

“What this walk is about is to recognize these issues, that the entire world has with hunger and homeless, right here in the Kanawha Valley,” Jessica McGuire, Executive Director of Roark-Sullivan told 580-WCHS.

“We are standing here with our partners. We are going to walk to raise awareness and hopefully amp the community up about helping and giving back to help these people not be hungry and to be sheltered.”

The annual event originated at Villanova University in 1975 and now takes place each year in hundreds of communities across the country. The event did not happen in Charleston in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“It’s necessary for everyone in the community to not turn a blind eye to what has been going on but actually see it and see what you can do to make it better,” McGuire said.