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Oasis Walk for Hunger kicks off Saturday

Two miles around scenic Portsmouth seems a small distance to go to help fight hunger, but an event this Saturday will do just that.

Oasis Social Ministry, a charitable corporation with several dozen participating churches in Portsmouth, western Chesapeake and North Suffolk, will host its 2010 Walk for Hunger in downtown Portsmouth on Saturday, beginning at 9 a.m. at its headquarters at 1020 High St. and ending at 11 a.m. back at the headquarters.

“It’s really our only large fundraiser,” said Burgess Hodges, resource manager for Oasis Social Ministry. “All of that money goes directly to services we provide.”

Oasis was started in 1970 by five Catholic parishes in Portsmouth, and since then has grown to include about 50 area places of worship of all faiths and denominations. The organization operates a soup kitchen that provides 10 meals per week to hungry and homeless in the area, a food pantry, a clothes closet and thrift store and delivers groceries to seniors.

“We do a little bit of everything,” Hodges said.

Walkers in the eighth annual Oasis Walk for Hunger can collect sponsors — or just sponsor themselves — for the two-mile walk through Olde Towne Portsmouth. The scenic, historic route will take walkers past some of the churches and businesses that have supported Oasis over the years, including Zion Baptist Church, Monumental United Methodist Church, St. Paul’s Catholic Church, First Presbyterian Church, Trinity Episcopal, Portsmouth Public Library, Old Towne Bakery and Old Towne Pharmacy.

Registration for the walk begins shortly before 9 a.m., and the walk will be held rain or shine. The sponsor sheet can be downloaded from the organization’s Web site, www.oasissocialministry.wordpress.com, and sponsors can be collected through the day of the walk. Money can be turned in at the start of the walk. Participants are encouraged to wear orange.

For more information on the walk, visit the above Web site or call 397-6060.