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Annual event helps Neighborhood House take a bite out of hunger

By: Mary Beth Almond | Rochester Post | Published October 14, 2015

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ROCHESTER — During a season that celebrates all things scary, nothing is more frightening than being on unstable financial footing.

Many families and individuals in the Rochester area live daily with the fear of being unable to put enough food on the table or find a secure job to help pay the bills that have piled up, according to the Rochester Area Neighborhood House.

The nonprofit, which is dedicated to helping struggling local families move toward self-sufficiency, invites the community to help its neighbors in need by participating in the fifth annual Scare Away Hunger 5K Run/Walk Oct. 24.

The event, according to the nonprofit’s fund development manager, Michelle Zelazny, is the organization’s largest fundraiser of the year, supplying around $20,000 to support the Neighborhood House’s programs and services.

“We hope to raise even more this year to meet the demands of our clients, which continue to grow,” Zelazny said.

Kathy Losinski, executive director at the Neighborhood House, said the event gives people an opportunity to have fun while giving back to those in need in the community.

“Some people don’t realize that there are people struggling to make ends meet right here in our community. Hunger doesn’t just happen in faraway places,” Losinski said in a statement.

Scare Away Hunger participants, according to Zelazny, will be delighted with an expanded event at a new location this year: the Village of Rochester Hills.

Check-in for the 5K Run/Walk will begin at 7:30 p.m., and the race starts at 8:30 a.m. in the Village. Autumn family fun activities will run 7:30 a.m.-1 p.m. and include trick-or-treating, a train ride, a bounce house, kids’ crafts, face painting, an obstacle course by FlipSpot Gym, entertainment by the Rochester Avon Recreation Authority’s Select Performance Dance Team, Stoney Creek’s drum line, music by Ms. Carissa and more.

“It’s going to be a lot of fun,” Zelazny said.

For those not participating in the race, a $5-per-child, $15-per-family donation to the Neighborhood House, or a donation of five nonperishable items per child for the nonprofit’s food pantry, is requested.

For more information or to register, visit