Want to help?
• Registration for the Surf and Sun 5K is $25 through Sunday online at www.fivestarntp.com.
• Food retailers interested in learning more about Feed the Hungry Forsyth can e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. More information can be found at www.feedforsyth.org.
A local nonprofit that works with food retailers to help those in need is celebrating its one-year anniversary this month.
Allen Madding, director of Feed the Hungry Forsyth, noted the organization is working to try to get more food retailers such as restaurants, bakeries, catering companies and grocery stores involved with its “food rescue” efforts.
Food rescue involves collecting unused food from retailers that would otherwise be thrown away and providing it to food pantries for those in need.
According to Madding, Lenny’s Sub Shop in Cumming and Good Grub Subs in the Midway community are the two main restaurants that currently donate to the effort on a regular basis.
“We’re talking to a lot of folks right now,” he said. “It’s a real education process because a lot of the restaurants are concerned that they might have liabilities and get sued by somebody that eats some of the food.
“I have to explain that there are federal and state good Samaritan laws for food donors that allow them to be shielded from all that.”
Feed the Hungry Forsyth helps a number of county food pantries and programs.
Madding said they include: Abba House; Meals by Grace at Grace Chapel; St. Brendan’s Catholic Community; and Cumming First United Methodist Church.
“Unfortunately, we have a lot more need than we have food right now so we get spread out really thin,” Madding said.
“That’s why we’re really trying to get awareness of what we’re doing and pushing a really hard campaign this year to try to get restaurants in the area to understand what we’re doing and get them onboard with us.”
To raise awareness as well as funds, the organization is holding its first 5K fundraiser next month.
The Surf and Sun 5K will begin with check-in and registration at 7:30 a.m. Feb. 2 at Cumming Towne Center, 2475 Market Place Blvd. The run starts at 8:30 a.m.
All those who register by Sunday will pay $25 and receive a long-sleeve T-shirt. Registration after Sunday will include shirts only while supplies last.
Madding said the race should provide runners with scenic views.
“They’re going to have a nice little walk up the hill and then run down through Mary Alice Park, out toward the lake and back,” he said.
“We’re shooting for 150 runners, but I’d love to be really surprised and blow that out of the water.”
Madding added that while many may not think of Forsyth residents as going hungry, there are many who do.
“We just want to stress that roughly 10.3 percent of Forsyth County struggles with hunger and about 24.5 percent of the children,” he said. “So despite the fact that we’re a pretty affluent county and have a pretty decent standard of living, we still have folks that are just struggling with essentials.”