‘SPRINGFIELD – On Sunday, June 3, the Rachel’s Table Teen Board will hold “Outrun Hunger,” on a walk/run to raise money to fight childhood hunger in Western Massachusetts. Walkers and runners will meet at the Springfield JCC at 9 a.m. to register for one of three options: a 5K (3.1 miles) run, a 5K walk, or a one-mile walk. The $10 registration fee includes snacks, water, and a t-shirt. Prizes will be awarded to the first runner to reach the finish line, to the team that has the most participants, and to the team that raises the most money. Of course, the real reward is the knowledge that you are helping provide food to the children of Western Massachusetts.
“We are very excited about ‘Outrun Hunger,’ ” said Rachel’s Table director Debbie Rubenstein. “Grants from Bnai Tzedek Youth Philanthropy of the Harold Grinspoon Foundation and the Sodexo Foundation, along with the small registration fee, ensure that all the costs of the event are covered. Therefore, every dollar we raise will go directly to alleviating childhood hunger and to programs that educate youth about childhood hunger in our community.”
Childhood hunger is a serious problem in Western Massachusetts. Of all the cities in the United States, Springfield has the 19th highest rate of childhood hunger. One in four households with children struggle to get enough food, and nearly 50% of school-age children in Springfield and Holyoke are “food insecure”- they don’t know where their next meal is coming from. Children who do not receive adequate nutritious food have a harder time concentrating in school, and their academic performance suffers.
“When members of our Teen Board learned that so many of their peers weren’t getting enough nutritious food, they wanted to do something to help. Not only did they come up with the idea of ‘Outrun Hunger,’” Rubenstein said, “but they also solicited sponsors, publicized the program, and recruited their friends and family members. They are the next generation of our leaders and are models of commitment and creativity.”
In addition to the grants, major sponsors include Williams Distributing, Fallon Community Health Plan, MetLife Foundation, Attain Therapy and Fitness, Caban Orthodontics, Chicopee Savings Bank, The Grodsky family, Iberia Foods of New England, The Log Cabin/Delaney House, U-Save Auto, and Meadows Pediatrics.
To register for “Outrun Hunger,” or to learn more about volunteering and sponsoring the program, please contact Rachel’s Table at 733-0084, or visit us at www.RachelsTableSpringfield.org.
Rachel’s Table is a project of the Jewish Federation of Western Massachusetts and WWLP-TV22.