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Published on October 18, 2019

11th Annual Poverty Awareness Marathon Benefits Shawn’s Cupboard

Cross country coach Kathy Manizza and Professor Charlie Chatterton finish an early-morning lap.

Eastern alumnus Austin Darley '14 returned to campus for the annual event.

Student volunteers Lindsay Allard, Sarah Farag, Tristen Kijak and Elisabeth Graves collect donations for Eastern's on-campus food pantry, Shawn's Cupboard.

Eastern Connecticut State University held its 11th annual Poverty Awareness Marathon on Oct. 18. More than 100 members of the Eastern community ran and walked to raise awareness of poverty in Windham and across the nation. In recognition of the 38 million people in the United States who live in poverty, the marathon collected more than 200 nonperishable food items for donation to Eastern’s on-campus food pantry, Shawn’s Cupboard, which was created to fight food insecurity of among students.

Professor Charlie Chatterton, the organizer of the event, spoke on why he runs. “The challenge is to think about this issue all year along; this is an issue that exists nationally and locally. I run because I believe in the respect and dignity of all people.”

Marathon participants began in front of the Student Center and ran/walked 1.2-mile loops around campus—22 laps equal 26.4 miles. Most participants—faculty, staff and members of athletics teams and clubs—ran a partial marathon, as permitted by class and work schedules.

In recognition of the 38 million people in the United States who live in poverty, the marathon collected more than 200 nonperishable food items for donation to Eastern’s on-campus food pantry, Shawn’s Cupboard, which was created to fight food insecurity of among students.

Volunteers from the Student Athletic Advisory Committee (SAAC), the Center for Community Engagement (CCE) and the Health & Physical Education and Sport & Leisure Management Club (HPE/SLM) helped facilitate the event, collecting donations, directing the runners and providing refreshments between laps.

Organizers of the event also set up signs throughout the running path which included statistics on national poverty rates and poverty rates in Windham. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, for example, 11 percent of the population in Windham lives in poverty and one in six children across the nation do not know where their next meal will come from.

 “We’ve had a great turnout, with a lot of good energy and we are really raising awareness of issues related to poverty in the United States,” said Lindsay Allard ’21, a member of the HPE & SLM Club.

Written by Vania Galicia