The Fairfield Food Pantry’s annual 5K is its largest fundraiser, which helps the pantry serve its nearly 10,000 monthly clients. The pantry opened a new location on Donald Drive in 2018. CONTRIBUTED/FILE
Photo: Contributed
Photo: Contributed

Food pantry’s annual 5K has developed into its largest fundraiser

The pantry’s 5K run and walk had grown in each of its first two years, but race organizer and pantry board member Wayne Krieghoff said snow last year caused entries to “drop way down.”

“That’s what really cost us,” he said. “We were good until the race started (when the snow started).”

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The 5K, which is a chip-timed event, has become the Fairfield Food Pantry’s largest fundraiser “without a doubt,” Krieghoff said, raising roughly $10,000 a year in net proceeds. This year’s race is set for 9 a.m. on March 23 at Waterworks Park, 5133 Groh Lane in Fairfield.

That money helps the pantry through the difficult, and often lean, summer months, officials said.

The Fairfield Food Pantry serves close to 10,000 people a year who reside in the Fairfield City School District and in Hamilton’s Lindenwald neighborhood. Numbers are expected to increase, Krieghoff said, as food pantries have closed in recent years.

“We’re increasing our numbers,” he said. “There are more and more people that are out of work, too, and when that happens, our numbers increase, too.”

The pantry’s 4th annual race will have a new sponsor to the race, Krieghoff said.

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IntelliTrak, which moved to Fairfield in 2012 from Forest Park, donated to the pantry through its parent company’s foundation, LICO Foundation. The company donated to some Cincinnati-area pantries previously, but Michelle Tabler, IntelliTrak’s purchasing manager, said they’re planning to keep their dollars within the community.

“The Fairfield Food Pantry just kind of stuck out,” she said. “We’re very passionate about (giving back).”

And the help isn’t going to be limited to the annual 5K, Tabler said.

“We’re looking at doing more, maybe with a food drive and donations, and we actually want to get our employees out there to volunteer,” she said. The company gives its employees eight paid hours off to volunteer in the community.

Companies who wish to sponsor the food pantry’s 5K can do so until the first week of March.

Runners and walkers can register and pick up race packets from 3 to 7 p.m. on March 21 and 22 at the food pantry, 78 Donald Drive in Fairfield, or anytime online at runsignup.com. Entries are $30 prior to the day of the race and $35 on race day. Race day registration and pick-up is at 8 a.m. March 23. First-, second- and third-place prizes for women and men.

For more information, call 513-829-9047 or email fairfieldfoodpantry@gmail.com.

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