Tan’s Treats ‘Ugly Sweater 5K Run’ helps provide thousands of meals to Washington County children

Treats "Hungry Hustle Ugly Sweater 5K Run" held at the Crosby Family Confluence Park, St. George, Utah, Dec. 2, 2017 | File photo by Cody Blowers, St. George News

ST. GEORGE Tan’s Treats is holding the “Hungry Hustle Ugly Sweater 5k Run” for the third consecutive year to garner support for a program that provides thousands of meals to more than 600 Washington County schoolchildren who may otherwise go without.

Poster for the Hungry Hustle Ugly Sweater 5K run that will take place Dec. 1, St. George, Utah | Photo courtesy of Tan’s Treats, St. George News

The spirited holiday 5K fundraising event and food drive will be held Dec. 1 at Crosby Confluence Park, 1953 S. Convention Center Drive, St. George.

Pre-run festivities begin at 9:30 a.m. and the 5K run begins at 10:30 a.m.

Each of the five kilometers will be marked with fun activities including tinsel, Christmas trees, snowballs, candy canes, a selfie with Santa and much more.

The Tan’s Treats food drive will also take place during the festivities and items can be dropped off at the park from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

“So find your ugliest sweater, put on your running shoes and be prepared for a fun run filled with Christmas joy, and a whole lot of happy, non-hungry kids,” Nicole Goulding said.

In Utah, more than 380,000 people are struggling with hunger – and roughly 142,300 are children, and more than half of all Utah families receive Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits.

Santa and child during 2nd annual Ugly Sweater 5K run, St. George, Utah, Dec. 2, 2017 | File photo by Cody Blowers, St. George News

Tan’s Treats is on a mission to change that and needs the community’s support.

Tan’s Treats, a family-run operation staffed by volunteers, provides 20,000 meals each month to Washington County schoolchildren who may otherwise go without. The meals help children obtain the nutrition they need during the weekend when school lunch programs are not available, allowing the kids to arrive at school ready to learn and develop properly.

The nonprofit organization packs a weekend bag of food consisting of three meals and one snack for both Saturday and Sunday. The bags are delivered to schools where staff give them to children who have opted into the program.

In addition to the weekend bags, the program also provides family meal bags that include items to be prepared for the family during school breaks, such as Christmas or spring vacations.

“100 percent of the proceeds go to weekend meals for Washington County children,” Goulding said.

Tis the season to support the cause

Last year, Tan’s Treats packed 9,255 meals that included breakfast, lunch and dinner along with 1,200 snacks for the children and their families during the Thanksgiving break, enough food for the five-day period, and those numbers doubled during the Christmas break.

In 2016 more than 160 individuals participated in the Hungry Hustle Ugly Sweater 5k Run that raised $6,500, which provided 21,000 meals, in addition to the $600 in food that was collected.

Today, the organization provides the meals to nearly 700 children enrolled in several elementary schools, but there are 25 schools and more than 12,000 students who qualify for and would benefit from the program.

Items needed for the food drive include nonperishable, easy-to-open packaging that is individually wrapped and easy enough for kids to make themselves, including instant oatmeal packets, fruit cups, cans of Vienna sausage or tuna and ramen noodles, to name a few.

To sign up for the 5K run, click here.

Event details

  • What: Tan’s Treats Hungry Hustle Ugly Sweater 5K Run and Food Drive.
  • When: Saturday, Dec.1. Packets can be picked up and pre-run festivities begin at 9:30 a.m.; 5K run begins at 10:30 a.m. Items for the Tan’s Treats Food Drive can be dropped off at the park from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
  • Where: Crosby Confluence Park, 1953 S. Convention Center Drive, St. George.
  • Registration fee: $25 for single entry; family entry – up to six members, $65, and $5 for each additional family member.
  • Early signup available here. Participants can also sign up on the day of the event.

For more information go to Tan’s Treats Facebook page or call 435-627-3163.

Email: [email protected]

Twitter: @STGnews

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2018, all rights reserved.

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