Thanksgiving 10k, 5k events make a real difference

By November 8, 2010

There must be something wrong with the space-time continuum, because it seems to me that I just wrote a column about Thanksgiving events. But it’s been a year. Time to take measure of all the things we are thankful for, and to help those who could use a little help this time of year.

In other words it’s time, once more, to do something to make a positive difference in the Sacramento region.

Last year, 85 percent of American households were “food secure throughout the entire year … meaning that they had access at all times to enough food for an active, healthy life for all household members. The remaining households (14.6 percent) were food insecure at least some time during the year,” according to the latest USDA report on hunger.

That’s one out of every seven families. Of those families in need, nearly six percent had tightened the belt — literally. One or more household members reduced their food intake and “eating patterns were disrupted at times during the year because the household lacked money and other resources for food.”

This pattern of need has been profoundly noticed at our local food banks in El Dorado Hills, Folsom and Sacramento. No social class is immune from the economic downturn. It is also no surprise to find that the newest recipients of aid are those who were the givers of aid only a couple years ago. Your next door neighbor and their family may be one of those middle class families who are doing everything in their power just to hang on. The food budget is the first one to be cut back when trying to make the mortgage or rent check.

El Dorado County ranks 52nd out of all 58 California counties for poverty levels.

Sadly, the 2010 El Dorado County 5K Walk for Hunger has been suspended by the Food Bank of El Dorado County. You can help them, however, by signing up to participate in their “Un-Walk for Hunger” at foodbankedc.org. They hope to bring the walk back next year.

Twin Lakes Food Bank also benefits residents of El Dorado Hills. A 5K walk/run and 10K run, the Folsom Turkey Trot, will be held in Folsom to benefit this worthy cause. Funds from the fun run will benefit both Twin Lakes Food Bank and “Never in Our Town” youth scholarships for recreational athletics. Last year’s event brought in over $30,000.

The Fourth annual Folsom Turkey Trot will be held on Thanksgiving Day, Nov. 25. It’s a great opportunity to make a difference to those who really need it…and another opportunity to burn some calories before sitting down to a traditional Thanksgiving meal.

This family fun walk/run is through the beautiful bike trails of Folsom. It is a family-oriented event with all ages welcome.

The 2010 Folsom Turkey Trot starting line is at the corner of Blue Ravine and North Parkway Drive in Folsom. Registration is $25 online, $30 day of the race. Visit folsomturkeytrot.com. The 10K starts at 8:50 a.m., and the 5K kicks off at 9:10 a.m. This event will be held rain or shine. Check the website for guidelines regarding strollers and family pets.

If you are travelling to nearby Sacramento for your annual family feast, consider participating in the 17th annual Run to Feed the Hungry. This event began in 1994 with only 800 runners. It now ranks as the Sacramento Valley’s largest annual run and fun run/walk. Last year, some 35,000 people participated. Proceeds benefit the Sacramento Food Bank and Family Services.

If you like strolling through the “Fabulous 40s” neighborhoods of Sacramento (many decorated to the hilt), this is the event for you. My family and I participate in this one every year, because it’s such an awesome “happening.” Everyone is happy . Even Elvis (the King) makes an appearance on — where else — Elvas Avenue.

Online registration for the Sacramento event is available at www.runtofeedthehungry.com. You can even show up the morning of the event and register on the spot.

The 17th annual Run to Feed the Hungry is coming Thanksgiving morning, rain or shine. The race starts just west of the entrance to the Sacramento State campus and runs through East Sacramento.  Fees are $35 for adults and $20 for children ages 15 and under. Timed runners pay $5 more. Race day registration is 7:30 a.m. to 9 a.m. Timed 10K runners start at 8:45 a.m. Timed 5K runners start at 9:05 a.m., and all untimed 5K fun run/walkers will follow behind the 5K start.

In addition to the good they do, these events are also a tremendous amount of fun. There is wonderful feeling of camaraderie at these events. People are smiling at each other, and that positive energy is infectious.

Times may be tough out there, but when you see hundreds or even thousands of neighbors turn out to do good, that is a true miracle. There is hope. Maybe that’s the greatest thing we can all be thankful for this Thanksgiving.

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

Andy Laughlin


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