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Davis, California

Sunday, April 14, 2024

Yolo Food Bank’s eighth Annual Running of the Turkeys Fun Run/Walk


Participants line up for Thanksgiving 5k before gobbling up dinner feasts

For the eighth year in a row, the Yolo Food Bank (YFB) will host the Running of the Turkeys on Thanksgiving morning at 8 a.m. on Nov. 24 — this annual event features a 5k Fun Run/Walk.

YFB also hired a race coordinator this year to help organize the family (and dog) friendly event. The Fun Run/Walk will begin and finish in Woodland at Heritage Plaza and will take participants through the historic sites in the city.

Prizes go to the top three male and top three female overall finishers, as well as the top three finishers for both men and women in a wide-range of age categories. The “fun” portion of the Fun Run/Walk also presents prizes to the best dressed participant, first dog finisher and the largest team.

The proceeds from this event go toward YFB programs, services and partnerships, including the Kids’ Farmers Market, Holiday Food Distribution and regular food assistance programs.

The money from these fees go directly to the YFB. The nonprofit estimates that every dollar yields enough food for two to three meals. The event helps them work toward their overall goal and mission of ending hunger across the county.

According to YFB’s official press release for the event, “Yolo Food Bank is committed to increasing access to fresh fruits and vegetables, and works to educate the community on healthy eating. We distribute more than 4 million pounds of food annually.”

YFB development associate Becky Beaman is leading the event planning and hopes that the fun run allows for community outreach, including sharing information about YFB programs and services and reaching out to potential donors, volunteers or people in need of YFB’s services.

“There are two main goals,” Beaman said. “[One big goal of the fundraiser is to] raise about $50,000 for yolo food bank. The other big goal is to bring awareness about the food bank and what it is that we do.”

YFB Marketing and Communications Coordinator Kevin Brown worked as a photographer for last year’s Running of the Turkeys; this year, however, he registered for the race and plans to take pictures from a runner’s perspective.

“My best memory was being at the starting gate [last year…] was this big, giant inflatable arch for the starting and finish line,” Brown said. “Seeing all the different people running it, because it’s all different ages […] and seeing the crowd come toward me, it was really electric. It was a beautiful way to start Thanksgiving.”

Lloyd Knox, a professor in the Department of Physics, is organizing a campus team for the Running of the Turkeys fundraiser for the fifth consecutive year — and this year’s team has a new name: The Running Coupling Constants. Knox encourages everyone to join in support for YFB.

“More than 20 percent (44,000) of Yolo County residents do not have enough to eat,” said Knox in a Dateline UC Davis University News article, “Holiday Helping: A Food Drive and Fun Run”.  “One in four children do not know where their next meal will come from.”

Children ages 5 and under, can enter the race for free. Participants ages 6 to 17 can register for a little over $20 and those 18 and older can sign up for the race and service fee of $41. However, the cost of registration increases slightly on Nov. 22. Registration is open on the event website and also includes an event t-shirt.


Written By: Bianca Antunez – city@theaggie.org


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