“The Beast of Burden Challenge is the initiative of one woman — Jess Kurti — who had the inspiration to travel to all 200 food banks within the Feeding America Network. In addition to traveling to the food banks, she is running 100 marathons on this journey,” Akright explains. “And the whole point of it is to bring attention to the fact that millions of Americans struggle with hunger every day.”
Kurti plans stops in northeast Iowa after visiting the Food Bank of Iowa in Des Moines. He says she’ll visit the Food Bank of Iowa Tuesday, the Hawkeye Area Community Action Program in Hiawatha on Wednesday, and the Northeast Iowa Food Bank in Waterloo on Thursday. Kurti does two things when visiting the food banks.
Akright says Kurti tours each food bank and then spends some time volunteering. “That may be helping with some of the administrative work, it could be sorting food, it could be helping process fresh produce or meat. Anything the food bank needs, she is willing to help with,” according to Akright. Kurti hopes to spur others to support food banks.
“It boils down to the fact that anybody anywhere can take action to help with hunger,” Akright says. “You don’t have to live in a community with a food bank in order to take action…. pretty much every community in the United States has some of these resources. And her point is that everybody can and should get involved in this and help their neighbors get the food they need.”
Kurti has visited around 150 food banks since 2014. She has completed 77 marathons.