Hundreds of runners gathered outside on Macland Road in Powder Springs early Saturday morning for a race against hunger.
“CAMP served 12,000 people last year who were in need of food,” said Carla Pierce, the program director for CAMP. “We gave away a million pounds of food through the Atlanta (Community) Food Bank. We were the largest distributing pantry in their network.”
Jennifer Bressler and Jordan Krueger were ready for the 5K (3.1 mile) race. Bressler said they’re neighbors and have done morning runs together for more than a year.
“We’re here because it’s a worthy cause, and we want a run,” Bressler said with a grin.
“There’s a double benefit,” Krueger said. “It’s a good cause, and it’s good for you.”
Amia Freeman from brought her boot camp for the run. “All of these ladies have been training with me since November. It’s a two-to-three-day morning workout session every week, and they train hard,” she said with a grin. “Our next boot camp is in April. This is the first race for most of this group, so we’re pretty amped up.”
Folks from all ages were part of the fundraiser. Dave Brannon brought his 3-year-old granddaughter, Lily.
“We do the Wesley Walk every year,” Brannon said, “so we decided to do this one this year, too.”
Lily was more entranced with the balloon animals Ronald McDonald from the Loyal Order of the Moose was creating. “I’m with the Georgia Moose Legion Clown Troupe,” he told them. “We do strictly charity work, and we’re big friends with Jay Cantrell from the food pantry at CAMP.”
Linda Neighbors has worked with the run for all of the nine years it has been around, helping with pre-registration. “We had about 400 pre-registered, plus we had walk-ins.”
CAMP office manager Irene Blanchard said the organization aimed for 500 runners this year. “Our proceeds over the years have ranged from $8,000 to $13,000.”
“We’re hoping to significantly top that this year,” Pierce said, “with the help of our sponsors. All the proceeds go to the food pantry, which distributes groceries to families who qualify every 30 days. Those distributions address food insecurities in needy households for that month.”