All posts by Lafayette Urban Ministry

About Lafayette Urban Ministry

The Lafayette Urban Ministry (LUM) is an organization of more than 47 Christian churches that serves as a social safety net for Lafayette, Indiana's needy children and families.

Hunger Hike 2022 — Needed More Than Ever


Mark Your Calendars – Sunday, September 18


Planning for Hunger Hike 2022 has begun — and all indications suggest it may be needed now more than ever. Did you know…

  • Food prices increased 7.9 percent since 2021
  • Food insecurity has increased among families with children and communities of color due to COVID-19
  • Rural communities are especially hard hit by hunger
  • Many households that experience food insecurity do not qualify for federal nutrition programs
  • Hunger in African American, Latino, and Native American communities is higher in large part due to systemic racial injustice (Source: Feeding America)

Hunger Hike is a community fundraising event whose mission is to Raise Awareness & Make a Difference in the Fight Against Hunger — locally, regionally, & globally. Hunger Hike is open to participants of all ages and abilities who share a common goal: Fighting Hunger! Mark your calendars (Sunday, September 18, 1 p.m.), check out the Hunger Hike website, recruit your team, and begin planning your fundraising. Your participation will have a much needed positive impact on eliminating hunger.


Hunger Hike is a perfect fundraising event for your group — student organization, church group, civic group, team or family. Put together a Hunger Hike team and start raising money using our online fundraising site — or any other way you choose.

All Hunger Hike proceeds directly support the Lafayette Urban Ministry food assistance programs including the two LUM Food Pantries; Food Finders Food Bank, Inc.; and St. Thomas Aquinas’ Haitian Ministry. This is YOUR opportunity to support these outstanding local organizations while engaging in a meaningful and fun community event.


We hope you’ll consider joining our Fight against Hunger. Here’s how to get started:

| Donate Online | Hunger Hike—Online Fundraising |


If you are a business owner — you also may become a Hunger Hike sponsor. For more information on how to become 2022 Event Sponsor, email hungerhike@lumserve.org.


Hunger Hike 2021 – $122,186 Raised


LUM, Food Finders & St. Thomas Aquinas

Josh Prokopy, Hunger Hike director; Duane Sellers representing St. Thomas Aquinas Haiti Ministry; Wes Tillett, Lafayette Urban Ministry; and Kier Crites, Food Finders Food Bank, Inc.

At a private celebration, it was announced that the Hunger Hike2021 raised $122,186.19. For the second year in a row, Hunger Hike generated a recording breaking amount. At the event, Josh Prokopy, Hunger Hike director, presented checks to representatives of the three sponsoring organizations: Duane Sellers representing St. Thomas Aquinas Haiti Ministry; Wes Tillett, Lafayette Urban Ministry; and Kier Crites, Food Finders Food Bank, Inc. (pictured above L to R). Each of the sponsoring organizations received $34,922.23. These funds are already working to fight hunger and give food assistance to families & individuals locally, regionally and in Haiti — and giving hope to those in need during this difficult time.

Mark your calendars for Hunger Hike 2022. It’s scheduled for the afternoon of Sunday, September 18. If you wish to make a donation to Hunger Hike 2022, click the button below. If you are interested in becoming a Hunger Hike 2022 event sponsor, email info@hungerhike.org.

Hunger Hike 2021 Raises $110,000 So Far


Tackling Hunger Needs – Regionally & Globally

Hunger Hike 2021 returned to Riehle Plaza in downtown Lafayette (IN) this past Sunday, September 19, and was a tremendous success. The outdoor kickoff event began with a blessing by the Rev. Dr. Hilary Cooke, a spirited cheer from the Purdue Cheerleaders & Purdue Pete, and live music from Briton Weise (former LUM staff member). The US National Anthem was sung by Indiana State Representative Sheila Klinker & her daughter, Kelly Jacobs. In addition, there was a DJ, face-painting, balloon animals, clowns, and enchanted princesses. 

In attendance and offering support (pictured above) were local religious leaders and dignitaries including Indiana State Representative Chris Campbell, West Lafayette City Clerk Sana Booker, and West Lafayette City Council member Kathy Parker. Hunger Hike co-chairs, Purdue Coaches Nate Walker & Katie Gearlds made an appearance.

Purdue Pete, Purdue Cheerleaders, and the Purdue Crew Team led the hikers up the Wabash Heritage Trail along the Wabash River. In addition to strict safety and health protocols, participants were offered water and chips. {To view the local news story, click HERE.}
For 29 yearsHunger Hike has brought much needed attention — and raised more than $2.2 million — to overcome malnutrition, food insecurity & hunger locally, regionally & globally. So far this year, close to $110,000 has been raised. And YES! You still may donate to Hunger Hike, a Hunger Hike Team, or a “Hiker.” To donate by text, text HHIKE to 71777. Help Hunger Hike 2021 exceed last year’s total of $125,000.

Hunger Hike is one of longest running & well-respected fundraising events. Proceeds from Hunger Hike support the work of three local agencies – Lafayette Urban Ministry, Food Finders Food Bank, Inc. & the St. Thomas Aquinas Haiti Ministry. Hunger Hike is an opportunity to support these outstanding local organizations while being part of a meaningful community event. Thank you to all of our passionate participants & generous sponsors for another spirited (and safe) outdoor event. Go to HungerHike.org.

Hunger Hike Announces 2021 Co-Chair


Coach Nathan Walker – Honorary Co-Chair

At a recent event, Hunger Hike announced the 2021 Honorary Co-chair — Nathan Walker, Purdue Rowing & Crew Team head coach.

Coach Walker was named head coach in July. He is a Purdue alumnus and before returning to Purdue most recently led the rowing program at Culver Academies. {Pictured L to R: Duane Sellers, St. Thomas Aquinas Haiti Ministry; Coach Nathan Walker; Katy Bunder, CEO/president, Food Finders Food Bank, Inc.; and Wes Tillett, LUM executive director.}

Coach Walker shared that he is excited about Hunger Hike for three reason. First, the event raises money for vital food and nutrition programs and support. Second, as a Purdue student he participated in Hunger Hike and is honored to return in this new role. And lastly, he is proud to continue the tradition of engaging the Purdue rowing athletes in Hunger Hike, started by his former coach and predecessor, Coach Dave Kucik. Wes Tillett, LUM executive director, is thrilled that Coach Walker supports Hunger Hike, and the Purdue student athletes will continue to play an important role in the kick-off event on Riehle Plaza on Sunday, September 19.

Hunger Hike – Join the Fight Against Hunger


Start a Team – Start Raising Funds – Why Wait?

Join us for Hunger Hike 2021 and support the important work of Lafayette Urban MinistryFood Finders Food Bank, and the Haiti Mission at St. Thomas Aquinas. Even as the US economy begins to recover from the effects of the pandemic, millions of people are still out of work, facing eviction, and struggling to put food on the table.

The need is as great as ever, and YOU can be part of the solution.  Sign up now, and HELP FIGHT HUNGER! Let’s beat last year’s record and raise $125,000 for the hunger relief efforts locally, regionally & globally. Hunger Hike details are as follows:

  • Challenge Week – September 12 to September 19
  • Set a personal challenge and share it with your supporters: walk 100 steps, bike 100 miles, fast for 2 days, go without meat for a week, or
  • SNAP Challenge – Take the SNAP Challenge and try to feed your family on the average SNAP benefit of $30 a person for the week. 
  • Kick Off Event – Sunday, September 19 at 1 p.m. join us in Riehle Plaza for our annual celebration and 3K walk. Enjoy:
  • Live MUSIC from Briton Wiese, former LUM shelter director
  • ZUMBA with Studio b, clowns, face painting, balloon animals, massages, and a hotdog picnic
  • And NEW this year, pose for photos with our three costumed princesses
  • Three Easy Ways to sign up:
  • go to hungerhike.org | Click HERE | Text HHIKE to 71777

For more information, check out our short video, “How to Set Up your Hunger Hike Fundraising Page.” 

It’s only 37 days to Hunger Hike. Why wait? Start a team and start raising funds. Get started TODAY!

Hunger Hike 2021 – Returns to Riehle Plaza


Support Food Programs Locally & Globally

Last year’s virtual Hunger Hike was an incredible success, raising more than $120,000 for Lafayette Urban Ministry, Food Finders Food Bank, and the Haiti Mission at St. Thomas Aquinas. But even as the US economy begins to recover from the effects of the pandemic, millions of people are still out of work, facing eviction, and struggling to put food on the table.

The need is as great as ever, and YOU can be part of the solution.  Sign up now, and help fight hunger! Let’s beat last year’s record and raise $125,000 for the hunger relief efforts locally, regionally & globally. Hunger Hike details are as follows:

  • September 12 to September 19 is Challenge Week
  • Set a personal challenge and share it with your supporters: walk 100 steps, bike 100 miles, fast for 2 days, go without meat for a week, or
  • Take the SNAP Challenge and try to feed your family on the average SNAP benefit of $30 a person for the week. 
  • Sunday, September 19 at 1 p.m. join us in Riehle Plaza for our annual celebration and 3K walk. Enjoy:
  • Live MUSIC from Briton Wiese, former LUM shelter director
  • ZUMBA with Studio b, clowns, face painting, balloon animals, massages, and a hotdog picnic
  • And NEW this year, pose for photos with our three costumed princesses
  • Three Easy Ways to sign up:
  • go to hungerhike.org | Click HERE | Text HHIKE to 71777

For more information, check out our short video, “How to Set Up your Hunger Hike Fundraising Page.” Hunger Hike is only 59 days away. Why wait? Get started TODAY!

Hunger Hike Countdown – 45 Days to Kickoff

Wanted Teams, Hikers, Donors & More

There are only 45 DAYS to Hunger Hike. Why not get started NOW?  Here’s what you need to know to begin raising money and “fighting hunger.” Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this will be a year of great changes for Hunger Hike, and the event is going to be unique and more exciting than ever.

Hunger Hike 2020 will kick off on Sunday, September 13 starting a week-long challenge for “Hikers” and “Teams.” Individuals & groups can create online fundraising pages for themselves and their team and begin fundraising today. They will also be encouraged to create a “personal challenge” for the week or participate in a leaderboard challenge with other members of their fundraising team to see who can get the most steps — using a mobile app.

The centerpiece of the event will take place on Sunday, September 20 at 1:00 pm with the Hunger Hike livestream event, featuring local celebrities, speakers and entertainment to help celebrate and raise funds for Hunger Hike. The hike raises money to support the important work of Lafayette Urban Ministry, Food Finders Food Bank, Inc., and the St. Thomas Aquinas Haiti Ministry.


Make a Donation Button
Hunger Hike

Hunger Hike Persists & Thrives

Hunger Hike – An Exciting New Twist

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this will be a year of great changes for Hunger Hike, and the event is going to be unique and more exciting than ever. Hunger Hike 2020 will kick off on Sunday, September 13 starting a week-long challenge for “Hikers” and “Teams.” Individuals & groups can create online fundraising pages for themselves and their team and begin fundraising today. They will also be encouraged to create a “personal challenge” for the week or participate in a leaderboard challenge with other members of their fundraising team to see who can get the most steps — using a mobile app.

The centerpiece of the event will take place on Sunday, September 20 at 1:00 pm with the Hunger Hike livestream event, featuring local celebrities, speakers and entertainment to help celebrate and raise funds for Hunger Hike. The hike raises money to support the important work of Lafayette Urban Ministry, Food Finders Food Bank, Inc., and the St. Thomas Aquinas Haiti Ministry.


Make a Donation Button
Hunger Hike

Hunger Hike 2019 Raised $96,899

End of Decade Total Raised $978,597

At a celebration this week, it was announced that the 28th annual Hunger Hike raised $96,899. Each of sponsoring organizations received $30,230. Collectively, THIS decade, Hunger Hike raised $978,597 (10 year total) – an amazing accomplishment in the fight against hunger. The celebration was capped off with the presentation of checks to representatives of the three sponsoring organizations: Duane Sellers & Chuck Anderson representing St. Thomas Aquinas Haiti Ministry; Katy Bunder, Food Finders Food Bank, Inc.; and Joe Micon, Lafayette Urban Ministry. All major donors and event sponsors were also recognized.

A majority of the money comes from local churches ($49,033). The top 5 CHURCH fundraisers:

  1. St. Thomas Aquinas ($30,031)
  2. Chapel of the Good Shepherd
  3. St. John’s Episcopal
  4. Bethany Presbyterian 
  5. Central Presbyterian

The top six INDIVIDUAL fundraisers:

  1. Rob Pahl ($10,930) – First individual to raise over $10,000
  2. Fr. Patrick Baikauskas, OP
  3. Jane & Duane Sellers 
  4. Dr. Michael Lockwood
  5. Patti O’Callaghan

The top organization/group TEAMS:

  1. Decatur Street Kids ($2,079)
  2. Dogs Against Hunger
  3. Purdue English Department – Poets & Critics
  4. Grandma’s Bunch
  5. Benton Central High School CAAP, Food Finders Food Bank & Tippecanoe Democrats (3-way tie)

Special thanks to DIAMOND Level event sponsor — The Lafayette Life Foundation ($5,000 donation); and the Gold Level event sponsors — Walmart/Sam’s Club of Lafayette/West Lafayette ($2,500 donation).

Total Hunger Hike corporate gifts totaled $25,136. To view all of our event sponsors, click HERE.

The proceeds from Hunger Hike 2019 will have a tremendous & immediate positive impact on the Fight Against Hunger — locally, regionally & globally. Thank you all again for supporting Hunger Hike. More information may be found on the Hunger Hike website at hungerhike.org. If you wish to become a Hunger Hike2020 event sponsor, please email hungerhike@lumserve.org).

Please mark your calendars for next year’s Hunger Hike
— Sunday, September 20, 2020 —


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Hunger Hike – HH5K Run registration


Hunger Hike – $100,000 Goal – Well Within Reach

The Need is Great – So, Fundraising Continues

So far, more than 90% of the Hunger Hike goal has been reached. Won’t you please make a donation allowing LUM, Food Finders & St. Thomas Aquinas to continue to offer important food & nutrition programs?
Here are 4 ways you can still help Hunger Hike reach the goal:

  1. Make a Donation NOW, click HERE
  2. Support a Hiker or Team, click HERE — then click the TEAM tab
  3. If you are fundraising and have a First Giving page or team — send out another appeal to your friends, click HERE
  4. Purchase Hunger Hike T-shirts – (1 for $10 2/$15 | 6/$30) – To get yours, email hungerhike@lumserve.org. While supplies last.

Special THANKS to every donor, fundraiser, church, team, and event sponsor for your support. Let’s work together to reach $100,000 this year. And thanks.


Make a Donation Button
Hunger Hike – HH5K Run registration