Why I participate in Run to Feed the Hungry

Sharlett-O’Connor.jpg

I participate in Run to Feed the Hungry every year for a multitude of reasons, mostly feel good ones. I can start by telling you, I do not run because I enjoy getting up early on a cold holiday morning and dragging my over-caffeinated body to the starting line. I do it because I cannot enjoy a huge feast with my loved ones knowing that 1 in 4 children don’t know where their next meal will come from. There are many people in our own community going hungry and I want to start my day of thanks by helping those in need.

Years ago, I decided if I was going to pay money to run, something I also happen to do for free, the proceeds must go to a good cause. Run to Feed the Hungry proceeds go directly to Sacramento Food Bank & Family Services, feeding the hungry in our neighborhood and providing services to those in need. With Sacramento Food Bank & Family Services serving 135,000 people every month, none of us can dispute that this cause is dyer and necessary. When I sit down with my family every Thanksgiving, I can feel good knowing that I’ve done my part.

I also participate because, growing up, my family was a recipient of food from Sacramento Food Bank & Family Services. Growing up in a single-parent home with five children, I would accompany my mom to pick up a box of food with powdered milk, cheese, oatmeal and canned goods. I never understood where the food came from, but I knew that around the holidays, the box would be a little bigger. Knowing that I can help to ensure a family has food on the table fills me with a sense of pride and gratitude.

And, let’s not forget my self-care reason for participating in Run to Feed the Hungry every year. I run because I want to burn hundreds of calories before I sit down with my family for a beautiful Thanksgiving meal. Why not join over 29,000 other cool kids in intense physical activity? Running next to a sea of strangers, who are also my neighbors, is energizing and motivates me to run faster.  We all put on our running shoes, our beanies and our race shirts and we run, in the cold, to feed the hungry.

Looking around, I am reminded that Sacramento does care…

By: Sharlett O’Connor
RTFTH participant & SFBFS supporter