Ultrarunner Steph Robinson will take off on her first transcontinental run across America today. Through her project, Who’s Running This Country, Steph will meet people struggling with hunger at food banks and pantries while she runs from California to Washington, D.C. in order to drive awareness of food insecurity on a national level. Steph says she will share the stories she plans to collect on her 3,500 mile journey with both legislative supporters and opponents of federal food assistance programs, such as SNAP. After experiencing food insecurity as a young adult, Steph knows that hunger has many faces and many stories, and her support of Feeding America is helping increase awareness of an issue 49 million Americans struggle with every year.
Steph says, “When I was a graduate student, I worked a full-time job and I was still struggling to make ends meet. I wasn’t comfortable asking my immediate family for help, and when it came to choosing between paying rent or paying for food – I chose rent. My Great Aunt received food assistance each month through a senior program and she shared her food with me. I am very grateful to her.
When I moved to Massachusetts I started volunteering at a food pantry at the Amherst Survival Center, which is an agency of the Western Massachusetts Food Bank. I met so many incredible people whose stories were not unlike mine. I knew that I wanted to do this run to increase awareness of food insecurity because hunger in America does not look it does in other countries. It’s not always obvious that people are struggling to get food on the table. I wanted to have the biggest impact I possibly could, and I know that the Feeding America network of member food banks would help make that possible.
I have many friends who live on the edge day after day, so if I can accomplish this journey and feel that I’ve made a difference advocating for people facing food insecurity in our country, I will have achieved my goal.”
To contribute to Steph’s fundraising page through Feeding America, click here.
*Katie Golde is the philanthropy writer at Feeding America.Tags: Hunger Heroes , Hunger in America