Last updated: July 24. 2013 2:36PM - 300 Views

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Wayne Allen

PDT Staff Writer

The Community Action Organization (CAO) of Scioto County has scheduled a Shamrock Shuffle 5k race for this Saturday to benefit and support the expansion of its summer backpack program.

According to Luanne Valentine, Operations Director for CAO, the CAO Summer Food Service Program has served more than 100,000 meals in the past two summers. In 2011, nearly 550 individual youths in Scioto county received meals on a daily basis at 24 sites from June 6 through Aug. 7. In 2012, the number of youths served increased to nearly 725. This increase was due in part to adding nine more serving sites, eight of which were located in Lawrence county.

Valentine said the proceeds from the race will be used to expand the program into the school year.

“The program is needing to be expanded due to the need that’s in our community. This program started because we were part of a two-year demonstration project with the USDA and last year was the second year,” Valentine said. “However, we were funded for the summer of 2013. Since we were in the process of promoting our Shamrock Shuffle, we decided to proceed with the hopes of expanding the program into the school year.”

She said this program is vital because, “when young people are hungry they can’t learn and in the end that means they will not be able to earn in the future,” Valentine said.

According to www.cao5k.org, “the 5K event is 3.1 miles of flat terrain starting at the Scioto County Welcome Center, and going through the historic Boneyfiddle District and by the Floodwall Murals of Portsmouth, Ohio.”

She said registrations for the event can be taken throughout this week and on Saturday.

“The registration is $30, you can register by check or money order or at www.cao5k.org. We will also take registrations from 7 a.m. - 7:30 a.m. on Saturday, with the race starting at 8 a.m,” Valentine said.

She said registered participants will receive a packet full of information and a t-shirt. According to Valentine, more than 100 people are currently signed up to participate.

“It takes about $2 to feed a child lunch. So, if you are signing up for the race you are going to provide 15 meals. All the money we raise will go back into the program so, we are trying to raise as much as we can,” Valentine said.

For more information visit www.cao5k.org.

Wayne Allen may be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 228, or tallen@civitasmedia.com.

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