Worthington Spotlight

Pantry heads into Home Stretch to raise funds

The Worthington Resource Pantry will host its second annual Home Stretch, a family-friendly 5k run, walk, or stroll to combat hunger in the community.

The event is presented by sponsors FC Bank and Hyperion Materials & Technologies and will be held from Saturday, Sept. 25, through Saturday, Oct. 2.

This fun event will allow participants to complete a self-guided 5K sometime throughout the event week. In addition to receiving a T-shirt and race swag, registrants will get exclusive access to a passport booklet that unlocks discounts and perks at some local businesses and restaurants.

Current passport stops include Oasis Face Bar; Aladdin’s; Peace, Love & Little Donuts; Mrs. Goodman’s Baking Co. and Highline Coffee, with many more still to come.

Registration is $35 and now open at wrphomestretch.com. All proceeds support the agency’s mission of feeding the community by connecting neighbors to food, resources and each other.

“We’re so excited to be bringing the Home Stretch back again after last year’s success and making it possible to keep our shelves stocked with the fresh, healthy food that so many in our community count on us to offer,” said Nick Linkenhoker, executive director of the pantry.

“This is an amazing opportunity for people to support their community, feed your neighbors in need and stretch your legs while we stretch your dollars.”

This year organizers are hoping to see more participants get involved in “peer-to-peer” fundraising, in which people are asked to raise additional dollars from their friends, family members and businesses.

This event was developed a year ago as the COVID-19 pandemic prevented the pantry from its traditional large fundraiser, in which hundreds of attendees would gather for food, entertainment, a silent auction and more. Last year’s Virtual Stretch was a big success.

Worthington Resource Pantry is a food pantry and resource center that serves neighbors in eight ZIP codes in northern Franklin and southern Delaware counties.

Last fiscal year, the pantry provided 869,997 meals to 13,892 neighbors in need. For more information, visit the web site

“We also provide connections to other community organizations that will help our neighbors,” Linkenhoker said.

“We work with a wide range of the community, from the far west side of Franklin County to those out in New Albany, Lewis Center and Polaris. We have a big service area.”

Before COVID-19 the pantry saw between 13,000 and 15,000 visits a year, which has increased dramatically since March 2020.

It now handles 1,400 or more visits per month, equaling approximately 17,000 visits annually

As a result, fundraisers like this are crucial to raise funds to help those in need. This year, the agency hopes to raise $44,000.

“The Worthington Resource Pantry serves people all across our community who are in need,” Linkenhoker said.

“By participating in this event, you are contributing to feeding your neighbors, so get out there and sign up for the Home Stretch.”

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