Saturday’s ‘Run 4 Food’ will help Cristo Rey Community Center provide food to families in need.

The fresh produce Dawn Miller picks up at the Cristo Rey Community Center in north Lansing every other week fills a much-needed hole for her family.

Miller is a home health care worker for her 64-year-old mother, who lives off $740 a month in Social Security payments and around $140 in food stamps. With a house payment and bills, there’s precious little left for fresh fruits and vegetables.

“This helps out a lot,” Miller said as she waited in line to pick up a box of fresh corn, potatoes, onions, cabbage and bananas. “It makes up the difference.”

Saturday, Cristo Rey Community Center is holding a 5K run/walk in Old Town to help raise money to keep providing fresh produce and basic foodstuffs to the community.

“There are people who are hungry, there are people in Lansing who lack medical care,” said Joe Garcia, executive director of the center. “It’s about helping folks with some of the challenges that they’re up against. … We fill that void.”

In addition to the twice-monthly produce distribution, Cristo Rey Community Center also has a food pantry with non-perishable items and a community health clinic. Five days per week, the center provides hot breakfasts and sack lunches to families in need.

Many of the center’s patrons are families with children who qualify for free or reduced school lunch, Garcia said. During the summertime, the sack lunches help keep kids from going hungry when school is out.

All told, the center gives away over 500,000 pounds of food — both perishable and nonperishable — to the community each year, Garcia said.

While the vast majority of that food comes from the Greater Lansing Food Bank, Garcia said they also need money to keep the center staffed, the lights on and the community kitchen running.

“We rely on fundraising events like this to keep this program going,” Garcia said.

If you go

The 2nd annual “Run4Food” begins at 9 a.m. Saturday at the Brenke Fish Ladder in Old Town.

Registration for the 5K run/walk is $30. Participants may register the morning of the race or online at www.cristoreycommunity.org/run4food-5k.

Source: ‘Run4Food’ to help feed Lansing families in need

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