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Hunger Heroes 5K Benefits Children in Need

Hunger Heroes 5K Benefits Children in Need

By Alli Bates ’16

The spirit of giving was present not just during the holidays, but all throughout fall semester in Senior Instructor Patti Wilson’s Freshman Year Seminar class. Together, members of the class helped to organize a charity 5K to benefit members of the Westerville community.

Westerville Hunger Heroes 5K and Fun Run, a community event to raise awareness about childhood hunger, raised more than $4,200 with the help of community partner, Best of Both Worlds. The proceeds were donated to Share Bac A Pac and Westerville Area Resource Ministry (W.A.R.M.).

“The idea for the event came from Braeden Sparks. He is one of the students who was involved with Share Bac A Pac while in my First Year Seminar class in 2013. He is an avid runner and also interested in Share Bac A Pac,” said Wilson.

The Share Bac A Pac program, founded by Otterbein alumna Sherry Williamson and her daughter Brandy Wampler, recently became part of W.A.R.M., a 501(C)3 organization that is focused on supporting community outreach and helping people become self-sufficient.

The mission of Share Bac A Pac is to provide “healthy foods and snacks to children who, due to unforeseen family circumstances are at risk of hunger on non-school days when free/reduced school meal programs are not available.”

Otterbein students, faculty and staff along with community volunteers packed more than 4,300 weekend food bags last school year alone. Each week they distributed approximately 130 food bags to 16 different Westerville schools. The cost for each weekend food bag is approximately $6, which equates to nearly $250 per student for the entire school year. The program has been in existence for four years and is funded completely by donations and grants. The participation in this event will go directly to providing food and nutrition education to these Westerville children.

“Being able to give back to your community means a great deal to me. I have lived in Westerville for more than 16 years and my son went through Westerville schools,” said Wilson. “I am very grateful for what all the teachers in the district do to make students success and Share Bac A Pac is one small way to help make sure when students come to school on Mondays they are not hungry and can concentrate on learning and not the sounds and pains of a hungry belly.”

“By digging a little deeper into the Westerville community and realizing that childhood hunger issues are everywhere, these freshman members of the Otterbein community felt a great sense of pride in being able to contribute to the well-being of the young people in the community. They were also able to see that by working together they could make a big impact,” said Wilson. “This is a lesson they will be able to carry with them into their futures and their future communities.”

Learn more about the Westerville Hunger Heroes 5K and Fun Run on their Facebook page.

Visit W.A.R.M.’s website for more on the Share Bac A Pac program.