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Walk a Mile for Water and Eat More Than a Mud Cookie

August 6, 2016, 10:00 AM12:00 PM


Walk a Mile for Water and Eat More Than a Mud Cookie

By Emily Rowden Fournier

Poverty affects people around the world. In some places people are so poor that to stave off hunger pains they eat “cookies” made out of mud, oil, and salt. These mud cookies provide no nutrients but are affordable to make. Clean water is something we take for granted, but do you know some people have to walk at least a mile for potable water? Impoverished people, refugees and the homeless all over the world do not have daily access to clean, running water. Some must travel a great distance, by foot, to bring home containers of water - children, the elderly, and handicapped included. This water is unfiltered and untreated. Every time they take a sip, they are exposing themselves to potentially deadly bacteria.

In Maine, there are more than 925 homeless teens who often face water and food deprivation. They do not have access to the same programs as homeless adults or families. Homeless shelters cannot take them in, and teenagers are often left to their own devices. Living on the streets, in the woods, or couch-surfing they can go without supplies, food, water, sanitation and other necessities.  Kennebec Behavioral Health’s Homeless Youth Outreach Program (HYOP) works with teens in central Maine to provide for their needs, meeting them wherever they might be.

Help raise awareness of issues of food and water security and support HYOP by joining the second annual event, “Walk a Mile for Water and Eat More Than a Mud Cookie,” on Saturday, August 6. Registration starts in the parking lot of Exoptica Studio, 10 Railroad Square, at 9:15 a.m., with the water walk starting at 10 a.m. Bring a cup, jar, or bucket to carry water back from the Kennebec River. We will walk together in solidarity with those who do this daily as we make our way on a one mile walk to Head of Falls and back to the parking lot at Exoptica. If walking is not an option please drive along to collect and carry water. This water will be used in a circle of life ceremony. Registration is free, but participants are encouraged to collect pledges or donations to support Homeless Youth Outreach Program. Donations may be turned over at registration. All proceeds will be used by HYOP to provide emergency/after hours food to local homeless teens.

Following the walk, around 11a.m, attendants will participate in a Native American water ceremony. Brandi Farrington of the Homeless Youth Outreach Program, Kennebec Behavioral Health will give a brief keynote address. Margaret May Lambert will play her Native American flute as Emily Fournier leads a guided meditation. Shirleyanne Ratajczak, of Exoptica Studio, will explain the significance of mud cookies and teach participants to make one. A giant community dream catcher will be on display with the opportunity for everyone to share their thoughts and add feathers to it. Light refreshments will be served. This event is fun and educational for the whole family.

This is a free event, open to all. If you would like to donate but cannot attend, please bring or send your check, payable to HYOP, to Walk a Mile for Water 4 Cottage St. Fairfield, ME 04937. Donations will also be collected by Shirleyanne when feathers are added to the dream catcher at the Taste of Greater Waterville on August 3. For more information please call walk coordinator, Emily Fournier, at 314-8607 or visit facebook.com/walkamileforwater.


August 6, 2016
10:00 AM – 12:00 PM


Railroad Square Parking Lot
10 Railroad Square
Waterville, ME United States
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