Since the inception of the annual Run to Crush Hunger race event in 2012, Red Gold, a family-owned producer of bestselling tomato products sold across the United States, has partnered with 7,300 participants to raise over $412,000 in the effort to fight hunger, providing more than 1.6 million meals to local Hoosier communities.
The ninth running of the popular race took place throughout the month of October. Traditionally, participants would gather on an October Saturday in downtown Elwood, Indiana to run, jog, walk and socialize. Though the current environment dramatically altered those plans this year, Red Gold’s event organizers still found a creative solution to continue its annual charitable event – they held it virtually.
“Safely supporting our mission to crush hunger was our number one priority,” said Kelsi Fullenkamp, Race Director. “After connecting with our community through our website, newsletter and social media, and announcing how everyone could still join in this year by encouraging donations, running on their own and sharing back their results with us, we were happily overwhelmed by everyone’s enthusiastic response. There’s no holding these folks back when others are in need.”
According to Tim Kean, CEO of Second Harvest Food Bank of East Central Indiana and a Crush Hunger participant who has yet to miss a race, “one in eight Americans struggle with keeping food on the table. In Indiana alone, one in six Hoosiers struggle with hunger. In East Central Indiana, over one million people are not able to provide food for themselves or their families. 33% of these individuals are children living in low-income households who face the threat of hunger daily.”
“Everyone deserves to have nutritional stability,” said Colt Reichart, a fourth-generation owner at Red Gold. “Fortunately, this national celebration has quickly become a premier annual event that helps support that stability for Indiana small towns and their communities in so many ways.” And the event has aspirations beyond even that, Reichart continued, “Crushing hunger is the goal, but so is having an impact on the Indiana youth and families who continue to participate and benefit more from active lifestyles.”
With over 700 virtual participants in 2020 alone, Red Gold announced that the 9th Annual Red Gold Run to Crush Hunger raised nearly $55,000 through participants all over America in 19 different states and 116 cities. “Virtual ‘hunger crushers’ were everywhere!” Fullenkamp added. This year’s proceeds from the race were presented to Second Harvest Food Bank and the George Morrisett Center Food Pantry. The Morrisett Pantry has been providing financial assistance to underprivileged families in the community of Elwood since it was established in 1999.
Companies that joined in with Red Gold’s efforts to crush hunger included platinum-level sponsors Ardagh Group, Morning Star, Cigna and RWE.
With everyone’s shoes barely untied, Red Gold is already looking forward to next year and beyond. Going forward, the annual Run to Crush Hunger will be taking place on the fourth Saturday of every October. October 23, 2021 is the next date for this fun-filled family weekend and registration for the 10th Annual Red Gold Run to Crush Hunger is already open. Early planners can visit www.CrushHungerSaturday.com now to register.