Today’s news:

SJU walks for hunger to help feed homeless

Several hundred St. John’s University students took part in a three−hour Good Friday walk throughout the borough to raise money to provide food and other services for the city’s homeless.

Money raised from the walk will be used to fund St. John’s Bread of Life food pantry in Bedford−Stuyvesant, Brooklyn as well as to pay for an upcoming event during which students from the school will hand out sandwiches to the homeless in Manhattan.

“I’m close to St. John’s and have been involved since I graduated,” alumna Suzie Halpin said during the walk. “This is a very meaningful way to mark this day and it is wonderful to do it with students as well as members of other parishes.”

The event, part of the school’s Good Friday schedule of events, kicked off at 9 a.m. on the campus, at 80−00 Utopia Pkwy. in Jamaica, with a prayer service. More than 200 students then marched together, holding up a huge cross and a “Walk for the Homeless” sign, as they made their way along Utopia Parkway.

The group then stopped halfway through the walk for a second prayer service at American Martyrs Church on Bell Boulevard before circling back to the campus, where the march ended around 1 p.m.

John Kettelberger, the university’s chaplain, said walkers paid an entrance fee to take part in the event as well as persuaded others to pledge for the 5−mile walk. The students and alumni returned to campus for a simple meal of soup and bread following the walk, he said.

The school’s walk has raised a total of $60,000 during the past two years and this year’s event was expected to exceed that number.

Reach reporter Nathan Duke by e−mail at nduke@cnglocal.com or by phone at 718−229−0300, Ext. 156.

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