Visalia Emergency Aid Council races to end hunger

Visalia Emergency Aid Council hosts its 14th annual “Race Against Hunger” on Nov. 22

VISALIA – If giving back is your thing there is a way to do it while making extra room for the Thanksgiving feast later in the day.

The Visalia Emergency Aid Council is once again hosting their “Race Against Hunger” on Thanksgiving morning. This is the 14th running of the race against hunger. In 2017 the event saw 5,300 participants with the majority of them being runners. Last year saw their biggest net fundraising total in the history of the event. They raised $124,000. Over the past five years the fundraising has been over $100,000.

Iris East, VEAC development director, isn’t taken aback by the about of money the event raises, but by the sheer number of people who turn out for the event. Each year five minutes before the singing of the national anthem she goes up on a platform. From the vantage point she can see the droves of people who have continued to turn out. Some traveled from out of state, and some carrying on a tradition of giving back on one of the coldest mornings.

“It just warms my heart and I get a little choked up to look out on the crowd and for whatever reason they have come out to give back,” East said. “It makes me feel so blessed that the community of Visalia has made this a tradition over the years.”
This year there are five race categories for people of all ages. There are adult and children’s 5K and two-mile walks which will all begin at 8 a.m. Before those races at 7:30 a.m. there are kids’ fun run races of a quarter, half or three quarters of a mile.

For all the adult races there is a fee $30 race fee with $3 signup fee. Children’s races are $15 with the same signup fee.
Online registration ends on Nov. 18 at 11:59 p.m. People can still sign-up at packet pickup locations after the deadline. On the Nov. 16, 17, and 18 registration will be at Soul 2 Soul, and at Food for Less (2025 N Dinuba Blvd.) on Nov. 19 and 20.
There will also be activities for people who are not participating in the run. A kid’s zone with bounce houses, face painting, a fire truck will be open. Booths providing coffee and food will be available.

All proceeds benefit the Visalia Emergency Aid Food Pantry, and allows them to continue the same mission they’ve had for the past 87 years. The race provides critical funding for food assistance to more than 1,100 low-income families each month. That translates to about 2,000 children.

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