5K Raises 5K to Fight Area Food Insecurity

Mindful Mile & Fight Hunger 5K
Mindful Mile & Fight Hunger 5K
Mindful Mile & Fight Hunger 5K
Mindful Mile & Fight Hunger 5K
Mindful Mile & Fight Hunger 5K

SUNY Oneonta’s fourth annual Mindful Mile & Fight Hunger 5K event on Sunday, Sept. 18, raised more than $5,000 for Riverside Elementary School’s Action Hero Backpack Program, a weekend meal-assistance initiative for local children.

After lacing up their sneakers, signing in and lining up outside of Alumni Field House, 117 runners and walkers took off, making their way around campus before arriving back at the Field House. SUNY Oneonta alumnus Michael Hamilton finished first with a time of 17:28, followed by student Shelby McNamara at 20:07. Medals were given in several categories. 

Mindful Mile & Fight Hunger 5K
Mindful Mile & Fight Hunger 5K
Mindful Mile & Fight Hunger 5K

Participants included groups of SUNY Oneonta student athletes, faculty, staff, alumni, children, and other community members. Since the inaugural Fight Hunger 5K, SUNY Oneonta has raised $27,600 for the cause. 
 

Mindful Mile & Fight Hunger 5K
Mindful Mile & Fight Hunger 5K
Mindful Mile & Fight Hunger 5K
Mindful Mile & Fight Hunger 5K

The Riverside Backpack Program provides food for children on the weekends, sending them home with a backpack filled with three complete family meals every Friday. A large percentage of Riverside families receive backpacks, and the program is completely funded by donations from Oneonta community members, with food from local grocery stores. 

Mindful Mile & Fight Hunger 5K
Mindful Mile & Fight Hunger 5K
Mindful Mile & Fight Hunger 5K

Sodexo’s partnership with Riverside began multiple years ago when Food Network Chef Aaron McCargo Jr. visited SUNY Oneonta classes, prepared his signature dishes in the dining halls, and planned a special dinner, where guests were asked to bring donations of food for the Backpack program. McCargo works with Share Our Strength, an organization that helps nearly 12.6 million American children in their fight against hunger.

“We're excited to be able to continue to support the Riverside Backpack Program,” said Sodexo General Manager Jimmy Hamm. “It was an eye-opener for me – and I think to all of us – to realize the number of kids in our own community who are going without food.”

Thank you to everyone who ran, walked, donated, sponsored or volunteered! See you next year. 

**Photography by Ryan Dittmar, '23 Media Studies and Digital & Studio Art Major

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