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Get up and move for hunger relief

Woman running in a race

Lace up your shoes and get moving for a great cause by participating in the 7th annual 5K for child hunger relief this June during Annual Conference.

Content Editor

The 7th annual 5K to raise money for child hunger relief in Michigan will be held during the 2023 Annual Conference. A live, timed 5K will be held on-site at the Grand Traverse Resort and Spa in Acme, MI, on Friday, June 2, at 11 am, with other events held throughout the state over the weekend.

Click here to register. Registration is $35 per person and includes a T-shirt. Pet bandanas are back by popular demand. Register by May 1 for guaranteed T-shirt delivery. If you want to organize a large group, please email Sarah Vollmer at [email protected].

Participating in a 5K is great for a beginner or a seasoned runner/walker since it’s only 3.1 miles. And bring your dog along—they can join the fun, too. There are health benefits to regular aerobic exercise, but always consult your primary care physician if this is your first time.

If you aren’t sure a 5K is doable or need some guidance in preparation, read this helpful article prepared by the Mayo Clinic that outlines a 7-week training schedule for a beginner.

The on-site timed 5K will be held at 11 am on Friday, June 2, but you can walk, run, or ride the course at the Grand Traverse Resort and Spa anytime, June 1-4.

Remember, you can still participate even if you are not attending Annual Conference. Rev. Kathy Pittenger, the Michigan Conference’s Children’s Initiatives Coordinator, has put together some helpful resources to give ideas on organizing a 5K event at your local church. Some churches plan their event for Sunday, June 4, to coincide with Annual Conference, but the important thing is to find a time that works for your group.

Take your involvement to the next level by increasing your financial support and redoubling your efforts. If you are doing a personal 5K, take pledges from your friends, coworkers, and family. Challenge people in your church to pledge support. Ask another church in your community to join you and match your efforts. Amplify your support in creative ways.

The Michigan Conference is serious about child hunger relief in our state. In 2022, over 250 people, along with several large church groups, gave $26,913.56, with funds distributed to the following 10 agencies supporting every county in Michigan for immediate hunger relief. The total includes money a local church raised but kept for their local food backpack program.

Feeding America West Michigan

Food Bank of Eastern Michigan

South Michigan Food Bank

Blessings in a Backpack

Weekend Survival Kits

Kids’ Food Basket


Forgotten Harvest

Greater Lansing Food Bank

Food Gatherers


According to Feeding America, 1 in 7 children faces hunger in Michigan. When tallied, 297,150 children in this state lack sufficient daily food and nutrition. And this number will likely increase, given the recent news that the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits will be cut for many families beginning this month.

The agencies listed above provide food and resources to children facing food insecurity across Michigan. According to the Michigan Governor’s Food Security Council 2022 final report, “Food insecurity is defined as being uncertain of having, or unable to acquire, enough food due to insufficient money or resources.”

Food insecurity is an ongoing justice concern in our state. Individuals and churches can help raise money to give to those organizations taking direct action to end hunger here in Michigan. Learn more about food insecurity and what your local church can do to reduce it by reviewing this resource page, provided by the Michigan Conference of The United Methodist Church.

Last Updated on December 8, 2023

The Michigan Conference