Summertime and the living isn't always easy. In fact, one in four children go to bed hungry each night because they do not receive meals they normally get at school during summer break.
"Summertime is hard for us," said Jordan Littleton, Harvest Hope Food Bank representative. "There's a lot of kids who are out of school, and they aren't getting the meals the normally would. So, we like to have a big fundraiser like this in the summertime to help raise funds."
That's why Food Lion and the Harvest Hope Food Bank partnered to host the 'Extra Mile' Hunger Run, because the only hurdles students should face this summer are on the race course!
On Saturday, July 25, hundreds of Greenville, S.C., residents gathered at Furman University to support Harvest Hope and the 117 runners racing for the cause. Runners took to the track for a full 5K race followed by a family fun run. In addition to the race, kids enjoyed face painting, food, games and giveaways.
Food Lion Feeds reusable bag contest winner and Greenville, S.C., native, Mason Crist, even made a special appearance at the event and signed reusable bags for participants at the event.
"Donations are very critical this time of the year," said Rhonda Mauldin, Food Lion store manager. "During the holidays people give a lot, but during the summer they are typically on vacation. So, donations are down. This is specifically geared toward the summer months when the children are not in school. They typically don't get three good meals a day, and Food Lion is so excited to be able to support."
By the end of the race, Harvest Hope raised more than 75,000 meals to feed S.C., children who otherwise would go hungry.
"Food Lion is dedicated to providing 500 million meals by 2020," said Mauldin. "This is just one of the amazing opportunities we have to be able to do that."