St. Peter’s Haven
To Launch BLOOMIN’
5k Run/1 Mile Walk
Part of a Movement to End Hunger & Homelessness in Clifton, NJ
CLIFTON, NJ —St. Peter’s Haven, a nonsectarian nonprofit and Clifton’s only food pantry, is launching a new event with help from its “run-to” partner, the Clifton Road Runners Club. The BLOOMIN’ 5K Run/1 Mile Walk will bring attention to the area’s hungry, homeless, and those at risk while proceeds will help St. Peter’s Haven to give more families/individuals a hand up vs. a hand out. Funds will be used to keep the food pantry well stocked and provide a pathway to stable housing and greater independence. BLOOMIN’ will take place on Sunday, April 14, 2019 with a start/finish at Clifton Stadium.
Like many cities across the country, Clifton, NJ has seen an uptick in the number of families and individuals that are food insecure, homeless, or at risk. The USDA reports that 11.8 percent (15 million) of U.S. households are food insecure, causing them to skip meals or buy less nutritious food to make their groceries last. As for financial security, the Federal Reserve Board recently reported that four in 10 Americans can’t afford to cover an unexpected $400 expense, putting more Americans at risk for homelessness.
“Today, we’re seeing many heads of household having to work two to three jobs just to make ends meet,” says Kevin Donahue, Executive Director of St. Peter’s Haven. “Nearly 1,000 individuals utilize our food pantry every month. Half are seniors and home-owners.”
Hosted by Saint Peter’s Haven, BLOOMIN’ is an offshoot of the City of Clifton’s Task Force on Homelessness, initially established early in 2018 to address people living on the street. “While individuals and small groups can make a difference, it’s when a community pulls together for a united cause that real change happens,” said Nick Villano, the City of Clifton’s City Manager. “We believe that BLOOMIN’ has terrific growth potential,” says Villano. “I expect to see many of our residents and businesses support this event and join our movement to end hunger and homelessness in Clifton.”
BLOOMIN’ will feature a USATF-NJ sanctioned/certified course (in process), a dog and stroller friendly walk, music, food, and activities for kids. Runners/walkers are encouraged to register early, establish teams, and set fundraising goals. BLOOMIN’ is one piece of a larger strategy to end hunger and homelessness in Clifton, NJ, along with a year-round backpack drive in partnership with Sydney Paige, Inc.
Established in 1986, St. Peter’s Haven, a non-sectarian 501 (c)(3) organization, provides food and shelter to families/individuals in need due to financial and other stress. They operate as both a food pantry and transitional family shelter, helping the people they serve move toward stable, independent living, and preventing those at risk from becoming homeless in the first place. www.saintpetershaven.org
Established in 1978, members of the Clifton Roadrunners Club run full throttle from track to ultra-marathons to triathlons. Over the years, the Club has helped other 5K events to get off the ground, providing both time and pro bono expertise. The organization welcomes novice, recreational, and competitive runners. www.cliftonroadrunners.com
Established in 2014, Sydney Paige, Inc. is a benefit corporation that provides underserved students with high quality backpacks/school supplies made possible by forward-thinking businesses, community organizations, and individuals. Their overall aim is to give underserved students the confidence/tools needed to thrive in school. Their philosophy, and that of their partners, is that education is the best pathway forward to long-term economic security, and all students, regardless of economic circumstance, must have equal access to quality tools and supplies. www.sydneypaigeinc.com
For details on BLOOMIN’ go to www.bloomin5k.org.