Fleadh 5K Runners Make Strides to Stock Food Pantry

The Oak Forest Fleadh 5K brought in more than 500 pounds of food to the St. Damian Food Pantry, stocking the shelves during one of the sparsest times of year for the organization.

Nearly 600 runners shot out of the gate at this year's —the biggest turnout yet. And they didn't just bring their running shoes. 

In an effort to help out the Food Pantry, organizers asked all runners to contribute one non-perishable item. Runners did their part—donating a whopping total of nearly 500 pounds of food. 

The donations ranged from key items like peanut butter and jelly, to pasta sauce and more at a time when the pantry could really use it, said Food Pantry Coordinator Christine Yaeger.

"There's two times of year when we are really low on food supplies: March and April, and then again in October," Yaeger said. "This was just perfect timing. I can't remember our food shed looking this full at this time of year—ever."

As the food poured in during the Fleadh, Yeager said that the charitable spirit of the Oak Forest community truly touched her.

"This is the community giving right to the community," she said. "We are helping our neighbors."

Although Yeager said she wasn't sure whose idea it was to have a food driving connected to the 5K, she is incredibly thankful for it. 

"I don't know if it was Chrissy Maher or somebody else, but it was somebody with the city," she said. "I'm just truly grateful for the idea."

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