I’ll be running for food on Thanksgiving.
OK, I’ll be walking a 5K. I’m not sure how many of these walks I’ve done, but I have several shirts to commemorate the event.
And the food isn’t for me. The food is for those who have a hard time paying the grocery bill.
According to the event’s website, “The Run for Food started out in 2006 with just over 1,000 participants and now the event brings together 5,000 participants each year along with 75 businesses and 200 volunteers for a true community-wide event.”
The website also says this is Chico’s largest annual event. It’s also the largest fundraiser for the Jesus Center.
All proceeds from the walk (some actually run it) go to the Jesus Center, which was founded in 1981 to provide a hot meal to the homeless.
Today, the center does much more than help feed those in need. Primarily the center helps the unhoused.
There are a lot of people in Chico without what I would call traditional housing. It’s obvious when someone is living in their vehicle. Tents, while more prolific before the city rousted them, are still plentiful. Short-term housing has been built as a transition. Services are in place to help stabilize these people’s lives.
But it’s never enough. Too many people are living on the edge. Sure, mental health and addiction contribute to homelessness, but there are so many other factors.
The irony is not lost on me that I will have walked to raise money for those who don’t even have a place to call home, and then I’ll go to a family member’s home and presumably eat so much my stomach hurts.
Maybe next Thanksgiving I’ll do more than walk.