highmarkwalkphoto

Photo courtesy of Walk for a Healthy Community website

By Kristin Douty

Run or walk, rain or shine at the Highmark Walk for a Healthy Community at Stage AE on the North Shore, May 17th at 7:45 a.m.

This year, a new donation team will represent the Northside Community Food Pantry, an organization that joined forces with the Highmark Walk to add more local walkers to the annual event.

According to Jay Poliziani, the Director of Northside Common Ministries and Community Food Pantry, the annual Walk for Food event represented the Northside Community Food Pantry for 10 years until this year.

Due to a gradual decline in the numbers of participants, Poliziani and the advisory board of Northside Common Ministries decided to join the larger Highmark Walk for a Healthy Community, due to its status as “an already well established and successful walk,” Poliziani said.

Revenue generated by the donation teams will go directly to helping purchase food for the Northside Community Food Pantry, the largest pantry in the region. The pantry currently serves nearly 1,000 individuals and families every month each year.

Poliziani proudly notes that “[the food pantry] does this with no government funding – all expenses are covered through donations and fundraising.”

In addition to raising money for the Northside Community Food Pantry, the Highmark Walk for a Healthy Community will raise money for 69 other health and human service organizations across the city of Pittsburgh.

Participants can also look forward to food, beverages and entertainment available at the conclusion of the walk, with a chance to win raffled prizes for every $50 of donations.

When registering online, there will be an option to choose the local organizations that individuals, families, or teams will represent at the walk. All donations will be turned in at the 7:45 a.m. check-in on the day of the walk at each organization’s designated checkpoint. Interested participants can donate at the Northside Community Food Pantry booth.

There is no registration fee for the event. To register, visit the Highmark Walk for a Healthy Community website at www.walkforahealthycommunity.org, or fill out and mail a Walker Registration Form no later than May 7 to:

Highmark Walk for a Healthy Community – Pittsburgh

Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield

P.O. Box WALK

Pittsburgh, PA 15230.