Spotlight Columns

Thousands to participate in Thanksgiving events to feed families

By From page B2 | November 07, 2012

What has 8,000 legs, more than 4,000 smiles and burns lots of calories?

If you guessed the sixth annual Folsom Turkey Trot, you guessed correctly.

Held every year on Thanksgiving Day, participants agree, it’s a great way to give back to the community … and burn a few calories before indulging in a piece of pumpkin pie.

Proceeds from the Turkey Trot benefit the Twin Lakes Food Bank and the “Never in Our Town” Youth Assistance Fund of the Folsom Athletic Association. The food bank serves families in the El Dorado Hills, Folsom and Orangevale area.

Last year Twin Lakes Food Bank helped 17,383 people — half of them children. More than 340 turkeys were distributed and, in conjunction with the Folsom Police Department and local Rotary Clubs, 421 families received Christmas baskets that included a meal and toys for the children.

The Thanksgiving Day (Nov. 22) Folsom Turkey Trot is limited to 4,000 participants and sells out every year. If you want to sign up, do it soon. Visit for race information and to sign up. For more information about Twin Lakes Food Bank visit

Sac-town fun
For nearly two decades members of the Sacramento community — and their friends and families from around the nation — have gathered to give back at the annual Run to Feed the Hungry for Sacramento Food Bank & Family Services.

Whether they are elite runners, average joggers or simple walkers, this event is one of the most respected 5K/10K events in the nation, and I’m sure inspired the Folsom Turkey Trot.

Last year 26,825 people participated on the event’s first rainy day. This year more than 28,000 participants are expected; my family will be among them. For us, it’s a tradition we wouldn’t miss for anything. The positive energy of the crowd keeps us smiling for an entire year.

“Run to Feed the Hungry is a Sacramento tradition for thousands of local families,” said Kelly Siefkin, communications director for the food bank. “The event offers a 5K and 10K course through the beautiful East Sacramento neighborhood. The run is owned and operated by Sacramento Food Bank & Family Services and raises funds to support six programs.”

Some 20,000 unduplicated men, women and children receive free goods and education through SFBFS programs each month. The food program serves 16,000 unduplicated individuals each month.

The Sacramento run raised $850,000 for SFBFS last year — approximately 20 percent of the organization’s annual budget. Founded by Father Daniel Madigan in the basement of his Oak Park church in 1976, SFBFS runs a very lean, grassroots organization with an incredibly efficient, professional staff of 40 and a volunteer workforce of more than 5,000 annually.

The Run to Feed the Hungry begins at 8:30 a.m. and concludes at approximately 11 a.m. Participants will meet at Sacramento State’s J Street entrance for the start of the run/walk. New exit points from Sac State will improve traffic flow post-race.

Siefkin is excited about a new participant category this year: Virtual Runner.

“Is your spouse dragging you to Iowa for a snow laden Thanksgiving? Do you have 49 relatives descending on your living room around 11 a.m.? Are you more of a napper than a jogger? Then sign up as a virtual participant,” Siefkin said. “Your registration fee supports programs at Sacramento Food Bank & Family Services and you’ll still receive your shirt after the event, but you don’t have to run or walk on Thanksgiving morning.”

There is still time to sign up to participate, volunteer or join a team. There is also some new run attire available this year.

“Those who sign up to participate and who make an additional $50 contribution will receive a Run to Feed the Hungry knit beanie this year,” Siefkin said. “Participants are very excited about it — apparently, it’s becoming a hot collectible for those who participate every year.”

Registration for the Run to Feed the Hungry is available online until Nov. 20 at Participants can also register via mail until Nov. 10 or at REI from Nov. 17-21. For more information about SFBFS visit

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

Susan Laird


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