Daily Journal staff reports

What started as a Leadership Johnson County project has grown into an annual event that helps feed needy kids when they are at home and might not have access to food.

The Franklin Hunger Heroes Run Against Hunger 5K is Nov. 12 in downtown Franklin.

Registration fees will go to Gleaner’s Food Bank in Indianapolis to help supplement the BackSacks program, where needy children get food in their back packs to take home for the weekend. Money raised will also go toward putting together boxes stuffed with food for students to take home for extended breaks, organizers said.

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Part of the run is about raising awareness of hungry children in Franklin, organizers said.

“I don’t think a lot of people understand the situation of what students go through in not having adequate food when they are away from school,” said Jeff Powers, an organizer and English teacher at Franklin Community High School.

“It is a situation that a lot of people aren’t aware of, it helps bring it to their attention.”

The first Run Against Hunger was last year, after members of a Leadership Johnson County class decided that hunger in the communities was something they wanted to tackle.

They started asking residents to pack their lunch at home and donate what they would have spent eating lunch out toward helping hungry children.

Soon, the 5K run was organized, said Jake Sappenfield, a member of the class.

Sappenfield is also the chairman of the Good Cheer Fund, which supplies needy families with food baskets for the holidays, and people approached him about doing a run for that holiday fund.

Board members decided that Good Cheer should focus on individual donations and the run became an idea to raise money for hungry Franklin children, he said.

The run starts in downtown Franklin on Main Street at 9 a.m. and runners will go toward Greenlawn Cemetery, down to the Masonic Home and loop around Province Park.

Registration is $20, and all of the proceeds will go to helping hungry school children in Franklin.

Often people might be surprised to know how many students in Franklin might not have access to food on weekends and on breaks, said Sara Fisk, an organizer.

“People wouldn’t realize, there are people in Johnson County that are struggling with hunger,” she said. “We live in our middle class world a lot of time and don’t see kids struggling, but they are in the same classrooms with our kids.”

If you go

What: Hunger Heroes 5K

When: 9 a.m. Nov. 12

Where: Downtown Franklin

Cost: $20 for adults; $10 for children.

How to register: Go to www.franklinhungerheroes.com/run-against-hunger.html