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Bicycle ride to raise awareness of local, world hunger

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A bicycle tour across a section of northern Minnesota aims to grow awareness and encourage support for efforts that address local and world hunger.

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“The Hunger Ride: Feeding People, Feeding Souls,” is a bicycle tour organized by the Northwestern Minnesota Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA). The tour starts in Turtle River May 9 and continues through Bemidji, Laporte, Walker, Akeley, Park Rapids, Wadena, Perham, Detroit Lakes and Hawley.

The Hunger Ambassador Cyclists have a passion for lifting up and addressing in hopeful ways the issues of hunger and poverty. They will be stopping in each community to learn and discuss hunger issues in the area.

Members of Calvary Lutheran Church in Park Rapids have organized events to raise awareness and create discussion around hunger issues on Sunday, May 11, when the cyclists will be arriving in Park Rapids.

Anyone in the community is invited to bike to Dorset and back from Heartland Park at 1:30 p.m. Sunday, May 11. Participants will have an opportunity to eat ice cream in Dorset. It is sponsored by Calvary’s family ministry team.

At 5 p.m. Sunday, May 11 is a free showing of the movie “A Place at the Table” at Park Theatre.

According to a synopsis of the movie, as of 2012, about 50 million Americans were food insecure. This was approximately one in six of the overall population, with the proportion of children facing food insecurity even higher at about one in four. One in every two children receive federal food assistance.

The film sees directors Kristi Jacobson and Lori Silverbush examine the issue of hunger in America, largely through the stories of three people suffering from food insecurity.

A Place at the Table shows how hunger poses serious economic, social, and cultural implications for the United States, and that the problem can be solved once and for all, if the American public decides – as they have in the past – that making healthy food available and affordable is in everyone’s best interest.

Calvary Pastor Steve Norby said the movie is powerful and it reflects some of the hunger issues in the Park Rapids area.

“There are a lot of people living on the margins here,” he said.

Following the movie, a dessert social will be hosted at Calvary Lutheran to discuss ways to eliminate hunger.

Calvary Youth Pastor Dana Kocka said the youth group is participating in the event and will be talking about past and future mission trips and some of their outreach in Park Rapids.

“It’s very important for our youth to be aware of these issues and that there are ways to reach out locally,” he said.

Other speakers at the dessert social will include Dave long, with the Hubbard County Food Shelf, Rhonda Lageson, with Helping Hands and members of a Ponsford food ministry.

“We just want to start by having the discussion and hope it sparks ideas and actions,” Kocka said.

“In our county we want everyone to have a place at the table,” Norby added.

Donations of non-perishable food and money will be accepted and given to the ELCA World Hunger Appeal and Hubbard County Food Shelf.

For more information about the Park Rapids events, contact Kocka at 732-7284.

The Hunger Ride is sponsored by the Hunger Table and the MOST Stewardship Table of the Northwestern Minnesota Synod in partnership with ELCA World Hunger Education.

For more information go to http://nwmnsynod.org.

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Anna Erickson
Anna Erickson is editor of the Park Rapids Enterprise.
(218) 732-3364
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