On October 8, around 150 runners (and counting!) will converge on Miles City, Montana for the Hoofin’ It for Hunger Race. There is a category for everyone, from the rigorous half-marathon and 10K to the less stressful 5K and one-mile run walk. This year, the virtual runner category has been added so someone who can’t make it to Miles City can pay the registration of $30 and get the T-shirt, and still contribute to end hunger in Montana.

Local is statewide

The proceeds of Hoofin’ It for Hunger go to the Montana Food Bank Network which serves as a food bank wholesaler. For instance, say your food bank is in Custer County, just down the road from Hoofin’ It. Custer County Food Bank will get their shelves stocked thanks to the MFBN. The money that MFBN, headquartered in Missoula, receives from Hoofin’ It for Hunger goes towards purchasing and delivering more food for and to the Custer County Food Bank. The MFBN acts as a wholesaler, getting food banks and pantries the most food for the best possible price. Their network of Partner Agencies is over 150 and spans the entire state.

Straight to the Food Bank

Unlike other charitable events who use some of the proceeds to pay the bills, ALL of the money generated by registration fees for Hoofin’ it for Hunger go to the Montana Food Bank Network.  Hoofin’ It has a bevy of wonderful sponsors who ensure that T-shirts, timers and other administrative expenses are covered, meaning what each runner pays goes to provide food to food banks across the state and many times in their local communities.

Just how much makes a difference?

The first Young Farmers and Rancher Hoofin’ It for Hunger Race took place in November 2011 in Missoula just before the Montana Farm Bureau Annual Convention. There were kinks to work out, but the YF&R Committee was thrilled when they were able to present a check to the MFBN for $5,000. At that time, Food Bank Executive Director Peggy Grimes and Development Director Kathryn McCleery received the check during the Young Farmer and Rancher Luncheon. Grimes indicated the $5,000 would provide food for 40,000 families as the holiday season approached.

The overall winner of the event, Dean Lipp, had noted, “I have a lot of sympathy for people who don’t have enough to eat. I’ve contributed to the Food Bank over the years and I thought Hoofin’ It for Hunger would be a great way to contribute and get my Sunday started.”

Since that time, that good feeling and generosity has continued. The YF&R Committee held the race in Billings in 2012 on a snowy Sunday in November before the MFBF Convention. After discussion about the time of year and weather, the race was moved to October in 2013 to find a permanent home in Miles City at beautiful Fort Keogh. The YF&R Committee to date has contributed $29,000 to the MFBN.

Montana Food Bank Network: they’re everywhere

There is a good chance that if you’re running in Hoofin’ It for Hunger Nov. 8 in Miles City, you will be helping your local food bank. The MFBN distributes more than 8 million pounds of food around the state. MFBN delivers food across the 150,000 square miles that comprises Montana, from larger towns to remote communities and reservations. If you haven’t already signed up to run, or as a virtual runner, go to www.406running.com and register today.