Jackson man hikes across the United States to raise money for the Food Bank of Wyoming
CASPER, Wyo. (Wyoming News Now) - A US Navy veteran and Jackson resident has spent the last two months hiking from Delaware to Wyoming. His goal is to raise awareness and funds to support the Food Bank of Wyoming.
“So J.J. has brought in enough to provide food for over 9,000 meals for Wyomingites facing hunger, so that’s a lot of meals when you think about the size of our state, but we are so incredibly grateful for his support,” said Food Bank of Wyoming Director of Development Jill Stillwagon.
J.J. King planned to hike along the American Discovery Trail, but weather and other factors have made him create a trail of his own. He has been using the trail as a general guide but is also utilizing Google Maps to help him plan his route back to the Cowboy State.
“I thought I would try using as much of the ADT as practical but earlier in the hike there was a huge rain event... and so very early on in the hike, I had to divert from the ADT. That was really the beginning of me trying to form my own trail,” said King.
Along the trail, he is taking and sending pictures and updates to the Food Bank of Wyoming which is sharing his story on its website. He says that the trek has taught him about American history he never would have known otherwise.
“Some of the things that I’ve been seeing on my route outside the ADT still present interesting things to see of the history of our nation. Interesting people, interesting towns, and still getting a lot of enjoyment of learning about our country... It’s hard to capture all of it in a message to [the food bank],” said King.
When King informs people about his mission to raise money for FBW, he sends them to their webpage to make donations directly, so they know he is not keeping any of the money he is raising.
“I want to give the donor 100% confidence that I’m not getting any money from this venture whatsoever,” said King.
According to King, people have been very interested in learning about his fundraising, and want to support his fight against hunger in their own homes and in Wyoming.
“I think it’s just a fundamental need, access to food, and it doesn’t really matter what state is in question and I think the need is there across the United States. That’s the impression I’m getting from the short part that I’ve experienced so far,” said King.
King says his journey has gone much faster than he originally anticipated. He is currently in Des Moines, Iowa, and expects to be in Nebraska by the end of this week. So far, he believes he is walking a little over 600 miles per month of hiking. He estimates he averages between 25 and 26 miles each day.
He hopes to be in Cheyenne by the end of July or early in August.
“Last winter I had no idea that I’d walk from Delaware, from the Atlantic Ocean to Des Moines in two months,” said King.
King intends to write a book based on his travels across the US, both from this journey and prior trips. He plans to begin writing this fall and has been keeping notes about people he meets and the hidden history of the small towns he’s visited.
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