Return of Springfield’s Turkey Trot means more help for less fortunate

Published: Nov. 24, 2022 at 12:16 PM CST|Updated: Nov. 24, 2022 at 4:22 PM CST
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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) - The annual Turkey Trot 5K hosted by the Springfield-Green County Park Board has become a staple family tradition for families across the Ozarks, but for some, it means more.

Local partnerships with organizations like Ozarks Food Harvest (OFH) used the event to help collect food donations for families in need.

“One in five children and one in six adults don’t know where their next meal is going to come from,” said Sarah Byrd, director of community outreach with OFH. “There are lots of people that have made it their tradition to come and volunteer for this. These people know that when Springfield shows up to support, they show up in force.”

The Turkey Trot has been absent for the last two years during the COVID-19 pandemic, leaving runners to carry on traditions their way.

“Last year we ran it on our own over a Sequiota Park, and it wasn’t the same,” said Olivia Slone, whose family runs in the 5K each year. “We’re glad to have it back and be able to carry on the tradition. This is just a good way to start the day, and it allows us to have that extra slice of pie.”

On the other hand, Ozarks Food Harvest says the two-year drought significantly impacted donations.

“The hiatus was hard, logistically we had to reroute a lot of things, and honestly, the donations went down considerably,” she said. “So this year, we’re really hoping we bounce back with it being in person and that we get back to 7,000-9,000 lbs of food.”

While donations amounts are unsure, the turnout for the Turkey Trot was as expected, with an unofficial total of 4,437 participants. In 2019, 7,000 participated in the annual race. The all-time best turnout is 9,000 participants.

CLICK HERE to see more about Ozarks Food Harvest.

CLICK HERE for Turkey Trot results.

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