Spotlight Columns

Running to feed the hungry this Thanksgiving

By From page A6 | November 01, 2017

Hard as it is to believe, Halloween is behind us and we are in the midst of the “holiday season.”

Andy Williams sang about it as “The Most Wonderful Time of the Year,” but the months of November and December are among the most stressful, too, especially for those who are in hard times.

These folks are friends, neighbors, even family. They are:

  • The single parent who lost the job because the kids were sick.
  • The family whose main breadwinner is no longer in the tech sector because they were “over age 50.”
  • The person who lost a job because the company could hire two 20-somethings for the price of one Baby Boomer or Gen-Xer.
  • The loyal employee let go because the company is, itself, in “survival mode.”

The list goes on and on.

Think on this, too, business owners: these talented people are future employees.

Pinching pennies
The first area to get cut, to make unemployment benefits last a little longer, is the grocery bill.

If you ever volunteer at a local food pantry, you will be astonished to see that many of the folks in this situation drive nice cars — still keeping up appearances for that next job interview, wondering how they will get through next week and truly in need of help.

This is why supporting our local food banks throughout the region is so important.

Food bank fundraisers
Community food banks need financial and food donations, especially in autumn. A donation to one or any of them helps families throughout the region. This month, fun runs can leverage your activity (i.e., get some healthy exercise, connect with family and friends and make a difference at the same time).

Food banks help each other out throughout the region. So helping any one of them helps all.

Closest to home, the Food Bank of El Dorado County distributes more than two million pounds of food to local, less fortunate children, senior citizens and families in communities throughout the county. Amazingly, every donated dollar leverages into $6 worth of emergency food assistance.

For more information visit

Folsom Turkey Trot
This 5K run/walk and 10K run event benefits the Twin Lakes Food Bank and another charity. The food bank serves El Dorado Hills, Folsom and Orangevale.

Held every Thanksgiving morning, this year’s fun run is Nov. 23. The race starts and finishes at the Folsom Lion’s Park (in front of the Folsom Library on Stafford Street) and the route takes participants across the picturesque bridges of Folsom. A cute T-shirt is included.

This event sells out every year so visit as soon as possible to sign up.

Run to Feed the Hungry
The “big one” is Sacramento’s classic Run to Feed the Hungry. Held every Thanksgiving morning, this is the largest event held in the Sacramento region. Gather with 30,000 of your besties to celebrate the holiday season and make a difference at the Sacramento Food Bank and Family Services.

Visit for registration information, T-shirt details and early bird discounts.

Join in
After a storm, a man was tossing stranded starfish from the beach back into the ocean. There were thousands more little creatures than one man could possibly save. Onlookers noted his effort in futility. To which he replied, “That may be so, but it made a difference to the ones I threw back in.”

Hearing those words, the story ends with several bystanders joining him, throwing as many starfish back into the ocean as they can.

Let’s step up and do likewise for our community.

Send your event for consideration in Susan’s column to [email protected]

Susan Laird

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