Hunger Walk to assist local families in need

(Courtesy of FAM )

Elizabeth Ortiz

The Family Assistance Ministries (FAM) are hosting the Hunger Walk in downtown San Clemente on Sunday, Oct. 20, at 2 p.m. Registration for this two-and-a-half mile walk begins at 12:30 p.m.

The goal of the 26th Annual Hunger Walk is to get 600 walkers involved to help raise money to assist neighbors in need in the community.

“The focus is on helping families and individuals in need,” past participant Cheryl France Moran said. “It’s really fun and you get a T-shirt’s something you can do with the whole family, like the moms who run with strollers.”

Another goal is to serve the underprivileged, treating families and individuals by helping them to create a budget. Then by providing help with food assistance, medical bills, senior assistance, transportation and rental assistance. The center averages 3,000 people a month who are in need.

“We consider those in need more then people hurting, they are local — neighbors and friends,” said Susan Gernamo, assistant to the executive director.

“This is our biggest fundraising week beginning with The Fam Jam, a dinner auction fundraiser on Oct. 18 at Bella Collina Country Club and the 26th Annual Hunger Walk is Sunday, followed by The Finish Line Party at Tequila’s Restaurant,” executive director Mary Gray Perdue said.

Perdue encourages participants to come stretch early while a local band Old Money Jim volunteers to play before the walk. The band is well known in San Clemente, becoming an annual ritual.

In 1999, Ellen Gilchrist, the founder, was working with a north Orange County assistance group but branched off to start FAM in order to fill the needs in south Orange County. She started collecting food and toys for Christmas out of her car before FAM took off.

“We try to look at the whole picture to assist a person. What is their story and how can we help them help themselves! We work with 90 community partners, 100 weekly volunteers and an amazing staff to help assist in changing lives,” said Perdue.

For more info please call Family Assistance Ministries at 949 492 8477 or online info at:




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