(UPDATED 12/18/16) Run to Feed the Hungry is a long-time Sacramento Thanksgiving tradition. On Thanksgiving Day each year, rain or shine, thousands take part in what is perhaps the largest Thanksgiving Day race in the United States. In 2015 there were over 28,500 participants and in 2016 over 29,000 – a record!
Thanksgiving, as you know, is a holiday celebrated in the United States as a day of giving thanks for the bounty of the harvest. The tradition can be traced back to a feast held by Puritans and Pilgrims in Plymouth, Massachusetts, in 1621. The harvest feast was made an annual event beginning in the 1660’s; and in 1789, President George Washington proclaimed the first national Thanksgiving.
Given the history and meaning of Thanksgiving, what better way to celebrate than to help raise funds for those less fortunate? The proceeds of Run to Feed the Hungry directly benefit the Sacramento Food Bank and Family Services. Run to Feed the Hungry is the organization’s main annual fundraiser. The Sacramento Food Bank and Family Services provide food, clothing and education to thousands of men, women and children every month.
Friends and family of all ages walk/run the 5K or 10K through the streets of East Sacramento. Those participating as “teams” often sport matching T-shirts or other attire. It is not unusual to see some of the runners in season appropriate costume – think turkey.
Spectators line the course clapping and encouraging the runners and walkers, and handing out bottles of water to the race participants. It is not unusual to have bands set up along the course and play lively music adding to the festive atmosphere.
While I have not personally participated in the race, I do make a point each year of taking a break from preparing Thanksgiving dinner to join the throng of onlookers to help cheer the participants on.
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Is participating in the Run to Feed the Hungry, either as a participant or a spectator, a tradition in your family?
(UPDATED 12/18/2016) The 2016 Run to Feed the Hungry raised more than $150,275 for the Sacramento Food Bank and Family Services!