Local food pantry organizes 5K race to highlight community hunger

Matthew 25:35 Ministries Food Pantry will host its seventh annual ‘Need to Feed’ Run on Saturday, October 21 at the nonprofit’s 1905 Ormond Boulevard location in Destrehan.

Registration for the event is $30, with onsite registration and packet pickup beginning at 7 a.m.; the 5K race is scheduled to begin one hour later. Registered race participants will receive a T-shirt, medal and a meal at the end of the race.

“It’s strictly to show people in St. Charles Parish that there is a ‘need to feed’ our community; that we do have hunger in the community,” Mary Anne Schindler, president of Matthew 25:35 Ministries Food Pantry in Destrehan, said of the local event. “Even though we think we have a really affluent neighborhood, there are not only neighborhoods that aren’t as affluent, but there’s also circumstances.”

The fun run event will be loaded with additional free activities for the public, including a petting zoo and resource fair. A community blood drive will be held onsite from 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. The National Guard, local fire departments and St. Charles Parish Sheriff’s Office plan to add to the fun, each scheduled to bring in a few vehicles for display to the public. Around 25 craft vendors are expected to be onsite at the event, and concessions will be available.

The event has even more in store for local families, offering several free children’s activities.

“We’re going to have free pony rides, we’ll have free face painting,” Schindler said. “We’re [also] going to hold a scavenger hunt for the kids, and at the end of the scavenger hunt they will get a pumpkin to paint.”

The St. Charles Parish Public School System will add further to the fun run’s activity lineup with its ‘Learn with Us’ bus stocked with educational games and toys geared towards pre-school to second grade children. The St. Charles Parish Animal Control department plans to attend, typically attending with a selection of its adoptable pets.

Schindler said the race attracts a broad array of runners each year – everyone from serious race competitors to people that are just looking for a fun outdoor event to participate in with their families on the weekend.

“It’s a family fun run – a lot of people will come with their kids, with strollers – it doesn’t have to [include] just people that want to race,” Schindler explained. “It’s for the people that also just want to have a good time with the family.”

For those that wish to donate food, Matthew 25:35 Ministries Food Pantry will also be collecting food items at the event. Schindler said her local food pantry group is beginning to gear up for its annual Thanksgiving food drive, which involves the group distributing food to over 300 St. Charles Parish area families each Thanksgiving.

For more details on the ‘Need to Feed’ Run, or to register in advance, visit Matthew 25:35 Ministries’ Facebook page online.


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