Due to COVID-19, the Run to Feed the Hungry annual fundraiser is going virtual to keep serving people in need.
Because participants don’t have to show up in person, run times can be submitted from Nov. 22 – Dec. 5.
Country Day’s running team members plan to run independently to adhere to social distancing rules.
“Everyone is doing their own thing in terms of running as far as I know. This year I’m just doing a 5k walk with my mom,” freshman Kasmer Conner said.
The impact that COVID-19 has had on the world has caused more people to donate and give back to the community.
“Thirty-two million pounds of food have already gone out this year,” Director of Physical Education, Michelle Myers, said.
This year’s donations have already surpassed last year’s by a lot.
“Normally, only 28 million pounds of food go out like this. With the pandemic, so many more people are relying on food and clothing,” Myers said.
Country Day has had a running team for the fundraiser for more than a decade. Myers is one of the advisors, and senior Ashwin Rohatgi is the president of the running team. They have been responsible for organizing and promoting the event for Country Day’s running team.
Every Thanksgiving, the Sacramento Food Bank & Family Services holds the Run to Feed the Hungry fundraiser to raise money for people who aren’t able to have a Thanksgiving meal.
“This is the time of the year where we can give back to the Sacramento community, particularly the homeless, who are less fortunate,” Rohatgi said.
Usually, around 27,000 people participate in the run. Money is raised by participants and sponsors of runners, raising an estimated $1 million every Thanksgiving, according to runtofeedthehungry.com.
“This is an enormous amount of food considering that every dollar that you give equals five meals,” Myers said.
This year, participants can donate to the cause and can submit their run times through the RunKeeper app.
“Instead of being a timed or an untimed runner during normal circumstances, you’re virtual. You can still submit your time because we do have a lot of competitive runners that like to run it,” Myers said.
The virtual aspect of this year’s run allows participants to be able to register and donate without having to go run in person. Participants pick up or receive a packet in the mail to confirm their registration and donate by themselves or through a team.
Conner has been participating in the run for the past three years with his mom, high school chemistry teacher Victoria Conner.
“I think that going virtual is fine, and is what is needed. It would be cool if we could do it in person, though it shouldn’t be done that way this year,” Kasmer said.