An edited press release from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
Every year in April, members of the Madison, Conn., Ward (congregation) of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons) host a 5K Feed the Need Race to gather non-perishable food donations for area food kitchens.
In eight years, they have gathered and donated 45,000 pounds of food. The annual event at Connecticut’s Hammonasset State Park and Beach in Madison began in 2005 and has grown steadily each year. People come from across the state, and beyond, to run for the cause. The suggested entry “fee” is 25 cans or items of non-perishable food per runner. The donations have kept more than one area food pantry going which otherwise would have had to close down.
Local “Mormon Helping Hands” provide pre-event publicity, logistical organization, hot soup and fresh goodies to runners. Teenaged “Helping Hands” direct runners to food drop-off collection stations en route to parking, help unload the donations from participants and then load donated foods onto CT Shoreline Kitchen trucks.
Jacque Rollins, member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Madison Ward, has spearheaded the event every year. “From the beginning,” says Rollins, “we’ve seen our race grow from less than 100 participants, mostly from our own congregation, to nearly 500 from all over the world. Sadly, as our numbers have grown, so has the need at local food pantries. We know our race keeps individuals and families from facing hunger and food insecurity in our little corner of Connecticut, and that is a wonderful feeling.”
Contact: Lyn Greenwood, Assistant Director of Public Affairs, Conn. and Rhode Island, Phone: 203-676-1958