CHICAGO (CBS) — A record-setting hunger walk stepped off from Soldier Field this morning, reports WBBM’s Brandis Friedman.

Foggy skies couldn’t dampen the mood at the Chicago Food Depository’s 28th Annual Hunger Walk. The 5k (3.1 mile) walk, began at Soldier Field and continued along the lakefront, to benefit the Depository’s network of more than 400 food pantries, soup kitchens and shelters.

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With a goal of 15 thousand participants, Executive Director Kate Maehr is this year’s walk sets a record, in response to the increasing need.

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“We will have hit a new, really sad record: 5.5 million visits to food pantries just in Cook County,” said Maehr.

Walker Emily Nelson says she has seen the need as a volunteer in soup kitchens.

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“It definitely makes me a more positive person because even though they don’t have as much I have they have great outlooks on life,” said Nelson.