King Philippe is the latest public figure to join a fundraiser named ‘Covid-19km,’ whose goal is to collect funds for marginalised populations during the pandemic by encouraging participants to walk 19 kilometres in one week.
The challenge has the double aim of providing food to poor populations as well as to helping farmers and food producers facing a lack of demand for their products amid the economic slowdown brought on by the pandemic.
Launched last Saturday and running until Sunday evening, the fundraiser challenges participants to walk or run a distance of 19 kilometres in the space of one week, financing through a signup fee of €7.95 the production of three litres of soup.
“Each participant to the Covid Challenge commits to supporting Robin Food by virtually buying three litres of soup which will be distributed to those in need,” the organisers wrote.
To keep track of the distance travelled participants are given the option to download a tracking app upon sign up, and can complete the distance of 19 kilometres either in one go or in multiple outings.
“Each participant is obviously invited to complete the challenge in proximity to their home and in respect with the security guidelines,” the organisers wrote.
Over 11,000 people in Belgium have signed up to the challenge, with the organisers saying their participation had already made possible the production of over 40,000 litres of soup.
Alongside the Belgian monarch, dozens of other Belgian public figures and celebrities have joined the challenge, ranging from Francophone rapper Romeo Elvis and director Stephan Streker to Olympic heptathlon champion Nafissatou Thiam.
Epidemiologist Emmanuel André, who recently stepped down from a role with the country’s coronavirus taskforce, is also among participants.