Friends of the Poor walk/run to benefit St. Vincent de Paul food pantry

  • The Friend of the Poor 5k walk/run to benefit the St. Vincent de Paul food pantry is scheduled to be held Oct. 5. Courtesy photo

  • The Friend of the Poor 5k walk/run to benefit the St. Vincent de Paul food pantry is scheduled to be held Oct. 5. Courtesy photo—

Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
Published: 9/25/2019 11:40:26 AM

The 12th annual Friends of the Poor walk and 5k run, which is by far the biggest annual fundraiser for the St. Vincent de Paul food pantry in Greenville, is scheduled for Oct. 5.

The run usually nets between $12,000 and $15,000 for the charity, pantry President Maureen Stenuis said Monday. Other than a benefit supper in the spring – which brings in about $1,000 for the pantry – it is the only fundraiser the pantry runs, and supplies a large portion of their yearly operating costs.

“We serve the equivalent of 70,000 meals per year, which is quite a lot for a little town,” Stenuis said.

Funds donated to the pantry go to purchasing food from the state food bank – which provides food at deeply discounted prices – as well as from local grocery chains to provide items not available at the food bank, but also supports other forms of assistance offered by St. Vincent de Paul.

Stenuis said the demographics of those served by the pantry have shifted over the years. These days, she said, they serve fewer families but support a growing number of senior citizens on a limited income. In addition to food, they also provide assistance with paying heating and electricity bills, providing gas cards, and assisting with unexpected bills such as car repairs.

“It’s not just food. Our thought is, if people are in need, we’ll help them as much as we can. We’re as generous as we can be. We get a lot of heat and electricity requests,” Stenuis said. “I would say we probably assist 30 people with heat and electricity.”

As winter approaches Stenuis said she expects to see cash needs for fuel assistance rise. Also, as the holiday season approaches, the pantry will be putting together about 125 Thanksgiving baskets, and assisting with purchasing Christmas presents for children.

The donations generated by the Friends of the Poor walk and run help generate funds for that assistance, as well as covering costs of maintaining the pantry’s operating costs and equipment.

The cost for runners to register in advance is $25 for adults and $10 for children 17 and under. The registration cost on the day of the race is $30 for adults or $15 for children. The route begins and ends at the New Ipswich Congregational Church. Registration opens at 8 a.m. on Oct. 5, and the race begins at 9 a.m.

There is no registration fee for walkers. All runners and walkers are encouraged to receive pledge donations. To download pledge forms, register, and view a course map, visit Online registration ends Oct. 2.

All proceeds will benefit the St. Vincent de Paul food pantry, located at the Sacred Heart Church in Greenville, which serves Greenville, New Ipswich, Temple, Mason and Ashby residents. Donations can also be made in person on the day of the race, or by mailing donations to the Sacred Heart Church, 15 High Street, Greenville.


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