Annual Walk for Plumpy’nut Aims to Ease World Hunger

By Nick Fustor, October 21, 2016

Annual Walk for Plumpy’nut Aims to Ease World Hunger

The 10th annual Walk for Plumpy’nut will take place on Sunday, Oct. 23, from noon–2 p.m. in Cass Park. The 5K walk is organized to raise money to send Plumpy’nut — a healthful peanut butter paste packed with nutrients that doesn’t require any water or refrigeration — to underdeveloped nations with limited access to fresh food and water.

Tickets can be purchased online for $10, and groups of five or more can purchase tickets for $7 per person.

Food For Thought, an organization at Ithaca College dedicated to spreading awareness about human rights campaigns, is hosting the event. Jeremy Block, Food For Thought’s director of communications, said Plumpy’nut is an essential part of ending hunger in underdeveloped nations.

“It helps feed the hungry children and hungry families in nations like Ethiopia,” Block said. “In most cases, mothers don’t even have enough resources to make breast milk, so in order to feed their children, it’s really up to some of these efforts to make that happen.”

Elizabeth Stoltz ’13 originally brought the walk to Ithaca after she organized it in her hometown of York, Pennsylvania. When she enrolled at Ithaca College, she organized a walk that raised $5,000 dollars. That’s when Food For Thought was born.

“As a high school student I had a couple walks for Plumpy’nut, and then at that point it had just grown into something that was so important to me and such a part of who I was that I knew it was something I wanted to take with me to Ithaca,” Stoltz said. “Ithaca has such a tremendous legacy as a place that can support things students want to turn into a reality, especially when they’re at the core of social justice and humanitarian work.”

The walk will feature a raffle with prizes, free food for participants and tie-dye for t-shirts. For its 10th anniversary, Block said Food For Thought is hoping for its biggest turnout ever.

“We’d love to break 100 people, or even go to 200 or more. It would be amazing to say we donated that much to malnourished children,” said Block.

This year, notable local sponsors include Purity Ice Cream, Moosewood restaurant and Agava restaurant, among others.

Stoltz said the walk is a wonderful opportunity for the community to support a global cause.

“Beyond raising money for Plumpy’nut, it’s something that gets a very tangible way to address world hunger right in front of people,” Stoltz said. “It’s something people develop an attachment to and feel like they can spend their Saturday morning doing something so critical.”