Food drive added to Turkey Trot

Throughout the United States, Nov. 28 will be a day of Thanksgiving.

In Warren, it is also a day to run.

And a time to give.

The second annual Downtown Warren Turkey Trot 5k run, hosted by the Warren Police Explorer Post and the Northern Allegheny Outdoor Women’s Association, is slated for Thanksgiving morning and race coordinators are planning a way for people to turn their thankfulness into action.

“We are going to have a food drive on the morning of our Turkey Trot,” said City of Warren Police Sgt. Brandon Deppen.

Race registration starts at 7 a.m. with the race to start at 8:30 a.m. The food drive will held from 7 to 11 a.m.

“This food drive is going to be benefiting the backpack program at Allegheny Valley Elementary School,” he added.

The backpack program will provide eight items of food for students to take home on a Friday. Those eight items comprise a breakfast, lunch and dinner for both Saturday and Sunday. The goal is to operate the program district-wide in the coming months. AVES was selected as the first school for the program because it has the highest percentage of students eligible for free and reduced lunch.

“I read the article (in the Times Observer) and thought, ‘We need to do something for this,'” Deppen said. “We have about 400 people signed up. If they bring one item each, they won’t have any room to put it.”

Last year, 427 people ran in the Turkey Trot and, with two weeks to go, this year’s registration is expected to grow.

In consulting with officials at the school, Deppen explained that the types of items needed include cereal, either individual servings or boxes, kid-friendly soup, preferably with poptop lids, as well as individually packaged crackers and any other kid friendly snacks.

Deppen said that all items need to be non-perishable.