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Race to end hunger

By Racey Burden | Published Wednesday, May 23, 2018
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Here’s a chance to give money to a good cause and get a workout in all at the same time. The inaugural Heroes for Hunger 5K in Rhome is Saturday.

All race proceeds, sponsored by Camp Gladiator, will go toward local organizations that feed hungry kids in Northwest and Boyd ISDs – Feeding Wise Kids, Communities in Schools and the Snack Pack program.

The 1-mile fun run, which starts at 8 a.m., has a $20 entry fee. The 5K, which starts at 8:30, is $35, and a family of four can participate for $100. All the races begin at Chisholm Trail Middle School, 583 Farm Road 3433.

To register for the fun run or 5K, visit eventbrite.com and search “Heroes for Hunger.”

“I really would love for the outcome of this to be an awareness of the need [for food] that’s here throughout the school year and the summer, and that people will want to come be part of the solution,” event organizer Kristen Archer said.

Feeding Wise Kids, one of the programs that will receive race proceeds, provides backpacks filled with food to 270 Wise County kids throughout the year, and they’ll start feeding 70 Decatur elementary students in August. Feeding Wise Kids President Ron Barnes estimated the group will spend $20,000 on food in 2019, and that’s based on the numbers they have now. Barnes believes there are more students who go hungry during the week who the schools don’t know about.

“If we think we have 100, there’s probably 125,” Barnes said. “And still the problem is the high school kids feel stigmatized, and that’s a problem without a solution.”

Boyd Middle School Counselor Larry Owens, who started a sack lunch program at Bridgeport ISD and has brought it to Boyd, said a lot of the discipline problems he sees in school originate because kids are so hungry they can’t focus on their lessons. He’s also started a snack cabinet in his office where students can grab something to eat for lunch or on break, and Owens said 10 to 12 students come by for food every day.

“Once we feed a kid, it’s amazing the difference in their attitude,” Owens said. “It’s awful to have these kids in for discipline issues when it’s just hunger.”

“If we give back to Feeding Wise Kids, it’s going to impact all these kids.”

They will also accept food donations at the race. Small Gatorades, milk boxes, juice boxes, individual cereal boxes, peanut butter crackers, canned ravioli, canned SpaghettiOs, Pop-Tarts, fruit cups, breakfast bars, GoGurt, raisins and trail mix are the most requested items.

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