Junior League, Food City food drive set for Saturday; Chasing Snakes 10K to run on St. Patrick's Day

Sue Guinn Legg • Updated Feb 28, 2018 at 8:46 PM

Did you know that one in every five children is at risk of going hungry? It’s a difficult fact to swallow and a leading motivation for the 28th annual Junior League food drive coming up Saturday at Food City stores across the Tri-Cities.

The food drive brings together the Junior Leagues of Bristol, Kingsport and Johnson City for a region-wide food drive for Second Harvest Food Bank of Northeast Tennessee and the Feeding America Southwest Virginia food bank in Abingdon., Va.

Collection barrels will go out at Food City store entrances on Friday and on Saturday the Junior League members will be there encouraging everyone to join local hunger relief efforts with a food donation. Most-needed items include peanut butter, canned meats, stews, soups, vegetables and fruit, and boxed cereals and pasta.

Last year 22,404 pounds of food were collected in the drive and the Junior Leagues are shooting for a 30,000-pound collection on Saturday.

The Northeast Tennessee and Southwest Virginia food banks will receive all food donations made at store locations in their respective regions and will distribute the food to local pantries and nonprofit organizations serving people at risk of hunger in their areas.

In addition to donating to food to drive, the Junior Leagues also encourage monetary donations and volunteer support for the food banks.

Information on opportunities to help the food banks is available online at www.netfoodbank.org and www.faswva.org or may be obtained by calliing the Northeast Tennessee food bank at 423-279-0430 or the Southwest Virginia food bank at 276-628-9266.

Donations may be made by mail to Second Harvest Food Bank of Northeast Tennessee, 1020 Jericho Drive, Kingsport, TN 37663, or to Feeding America Southwest Virginia, 21452 Gravel Lake Road, Abingdon, VA 24211.

The 10th annual Chasing Snakes 10K road race and 4K fitness walk and fun run will be held this year on St. Patrick’s Day — Saturday, March 17.

Registration can be completed online at www.chasingsnakes10k.com, or registration forms may be downloaded from the website and submitted by mail or dropped off at St. John’s Episcopal Church, 500 N. Roan St., by Friday, March 16.

The 10K registration fee is $35 and must be submitted by Friday, March 16. The 4K registration is $20 through Mach 14, and $25 on March 16 and 17. Children age 10 and under may run or walk the 4K for free. Well-behaved dogs are also welcomed to tag along for free.

All proceeds will go to the nonprofit Family Promise organization that provides shelter, food, an array of support services and transitional housing to help homeless families with children in the greater Johnson City area get back on their feet.

Over the past nine years, more than 4,000 Chasing Snakes runners and walkers and a solid band of faithful event sponsors have raised more than $70,000 to chase family homelessness out of the greater Johnson City area just as legend holds St. Patrick chased venomous snakes out of Ireland.

St. John’s member Amy Combs founded the race in 2009 to build community awareness for Family Promise and to create an opportunity for the church’s members to give back to the downtown neighborhood. Ten years later, this year’s race is expected to bring the total raised to more than $75,000.

In addition to the fundraising for Family Promise, Chasing Snakes also helps heighten community awareness of homeless families with children in the local area and how the individuals, churches and other community organizations come together to help them.

Everyone is encouraged to wear their St. Patrick’s Day green on the day of the race or to come in full costume and compete for the the event’s Leaping Leprechaun Award.

Those who wish to train for the race are invited to “Saint Practice Days” held each Saturday in March prior to the race, beginning at 10 a.m. at the church.

The 10K is USATF-certified and includes awards for top finishers and age group winners handmade by local potter Phillip Shivell of Shy Valley Pottery.

For more information visit www.chasingsnakes10k.com or Chasing Snakes 10k Road Race on Facebook.

If there is a need or a project in your neighborhood the Good Neighbor column can assist with, contact Sue Guinn Legg at 423-722-0538 or P.O. Box 1717, Johnson City, TN 37605.

Email Sue Guinn Legg at slegg@johnsoncitypress.com. Follow her on Twitter @sueleggjcpress. Like her on Facebook at facebook.com/sueleggjcpress.

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