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Fun run helps feed hungry area families

POSTED February 22, 2011 11:10 p.m.

Nutrition naturally would be necessary for a group of more than a hundred runners planning to cover just over 3.1 miles.

And the best part is that they’re doing it to raise awareness for nutrition and a lack of it among low-income families that depend on non-profit organizations like the Second Harvest Food Bank for the bulk of what they consume at every meal.

On April 2 – in conjunction with the Manteca Street Faire – Second Harvest will be holding their second annual “Hit the Streets for Hunger” 5K run and walk to not only raise money for the cause, but help boost awareness that there are still plenty of people in the community that have to go without food.

“Events like this are very important because of the awareness factor,” said Alana Robins of Second Harvest. “It lets people know what we’re doing, who we’re serving, and that we’re helping feed over 400,000 people each year. When they come out and pay $15 to run, they’re helping to provide food for the hungry.”

Wells Fargo recently signed on as the main event sponsor, but according to Robins, there are plenty of other sponsorship spaces left available that need filling prior to the event in April. While preliminary planning is going on right now, the run itself is just over a month away, and the last-minute scrambling is at a fever pitch.

The mood, however, is good following the busiest season of the year for Second Harvest – where they feed hundreds if not thousands of families for both Thanksgiving and Christmas.

Second Harvest Executive Director Mike Mallory has said in the past that interest in the food bank has tended to drop off once the holidays themselves pass, but the show itself must go on as families need assistance, whether it’s July or January.

And now that large-scale government donations have dried up because of the budget cuts, and corporate donations have tended to slow because of the recession, the food bank is doing its best to feed the families who need it the most.

“We still have our corporate donations that come in, but as far as monetary donations, those tend to go down after the holidays – it’s something that just happens,” Robins said. “We’re hoping that this event will get people to start thinking about the food bank again, and get them to realize that hunger never takes a holiday.”

The Second Harvest Food Bank of San Joaquin and Stanislaus Counties is located at 704 Industrial Park Drive. For more information about how to get involved with the 5K run, how to become a regular donor, or how to make a donation to the organization, call at 239-2091.
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