Fundraising race aims to ensure the hungry don’t run on empty


EDISON — Some people may not realize that hunger can, and does, hit close to home. But it’s a reality that Hands of Hope, which runs a food pantry out of St. James Episcopal Church in the township, faces head-on.

To continue its goal of alleviating hunger in Middlesex County, Hands of Hope will hold its second Race to Outrun Hunger on Sept. 27 at Roosevelt Park.

According to the organization, Hands of Hope “is focused on sustaining good nutrition, health and, most of all, human dignity by providing a means for the individual to meet their full potential and to silence the pain that hunger brings.”

“We chose the race as a fundraiser based on local races and the amount they raised for the select charity,” Race Director Stephen Dennis said,

Last year’s Race to Outrun Hunger raised more than $25,000, according to Dennis, who said he’s hoping to beat that figure this year. He added that he anticipates about 250 attendees at the race, which consists of a 5K run or a mile-long walk.

Greater Media radio station Magic 98.3 is scheduled to broadcast from the race, which will be followed by a buffet.

Awards will be presented to the top three male and female finishers for both overall and by age group.

Planning for the Race to Outrun Hunger started in April, but more assistance is needed to make the event a success.

“We are in desperate need of volunteers this year,” Dennis said.

All positions are available, he said, including course marshals who direct the runners and walkers, as well as event cleanup crew.

Funds raised through the race will help feed the households served by Hands of Hope — which totaled 4,072 last year — quite a jump from the 10 families the pantry supported each time it opened when it launched in 1992.

“Our donors are able to visually see where their money goes, and they often comment that they are always shocked by the long lines of people on the days we are open, and it encourages them to continue to donate to us,” Dennis said.

The race is just one of the fundraisers Hands of Hope holds during the year. A children’s pumpkin patch event is set for 11 a.m. on Oct. 17 at the church.

Dennis said his long-term goal is to have multiple 5Ks during the year to support the pantry.

Hands of Hope has many existing corporate, civic and governmental partnerships throughout the area.

To learn more about the event or to register at a cost of $25 for the run and $15 for the walk, visit by Sept. 20 or contact race director Stephen Dennis at 732-710-8836.

Registration will also be taken at the event. To learn more about Hands of Hope, visit