25th annual NSKS Run and Walk for Food and Shelter on April 8

NASHUA – Dinner is served 365 days a year at the Nashua Soup Kitchen and Shelter, and Executive Director Michael Reinke said there’s always a need for food to feed hungry people.

That’s where special events come into play to help raise funds for food and programs. Exhibit A: the upcoming 25th annual NSKS Run and Walk for Food and Shelter, sponsored by Red Hat.

“This is critical for us,” Reinke said of the Sunday, April 8 race. “Every year almost 25 percent of our budget comes from special events, and after our auction in the fall, this is the biggest event for us.”

He said the run, which begins at the Muldoon Fitness Center at Rivier University, will hopefully raise $60,000 but that it really comes down to two things: first, the support of local businesses sponsoring the NSKS race; and second, runners and walkers participating in the race.

There are four different races, the kid’s sprint at 12:40 p.m., the 10K and 5K runs at 1 p.m., and 3K walk at 1:10 p.m. Awards ceremonies will begin after the runners finish.

“As of right now, 485 people have registered, and that’s really fantastic to see.” Reinke said Friday afternoon.

In previous years, the average number of registered participants is 319 with two weeks until race day.

Reinke encourages people to register ahead of time, even though people can register the day of the race.

Something they’ve done every year at the race is corporate teams, where members of a business can register as a group and compete for a trophy. There has been success with this, and so far this year, 21 corporate teams have signed up as of Friday afternoon.

Trophies will be awarded in three categories: corporate team with the most pledges, corporate team with the most participants and fastest corporate team.

“We’re serving 500 families a week on average at the food pantry, and roughly 2,000 families a year,” Reinke said. “There are 6,000 families in Nashua who get food from the pantry at least once a year.”

All the proceeds from the race will go back to keeping that pantry stocked and supporting programs offered at NSKS.

“We’re only able to do what we do because over 1,000 people volunteer to give out food and provide shelter to folks, and this is one more way people can support a good cause to make sure everyone in Nashua has enough to eat,” Reinke said.

Adam Urquhart can be reached at 594-1206 or aurquhart@nashuatelegraph.com.