Marysville area residents can help the Community Kitchen at the Hope Center by participating in a 5K run/walk Saturday, June 15.
The $25 registration fee supports the work of the Community Kitchen, which serves free meals to anyone who needs help. It is a ministry arm of the Union County Outreach Taskforce.
The Community Kitchen is located inside the Hope Center, 212 Chestnut St., Marysville.
Event coordinator Amber Jakubson said workers at the Kitchen brainstormed ideas at the beginning of the year on how to raise money and came up with the 5K run/walk. It begins at 9 a.m. at Mill Creek Park in Marysville. Registration will be open from 8 to 9 a.m. the day of the event.
So far, Jakubson said, about 20 people are expected to participate in the 5K, but more are welcome.
Community Kitchen Director Peggy Heimbush said other events are used to help raise money and awareness of available programs.
"In May, we had a Souper Star Talent Review and supper, and October is the Chili Cookoff," she said.
The Hope Center provides free meals through the Community Kitchen and other related ministries. The Community Kitchen opened in January 2012 and is now serving an average of 1,600 meals per month -- although Heimbush said the number of meals served last month topped that at 1,800.
Meals are served from 4 to 6 p.m. Monday and Thursday, and from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Wednesdays and Friday.
"Things do pick up in the summer, with kids out of school," Heimbush said. "Marysville does not have any other free meal program to cover the summer months when kids are out of school."
"Our goal with the Community Kitchen is that no one in Union County goes hungry," Jakubson said.
She said it is "extremely important to the community" that good, nutritious meals are served in a safe, comfortable environment.
"We always wish we could do more," she added. "We operate solely on donations, so financial contributions are vital to keeping us going."
About 25 volunteers a week work in the Community Kitchen, averaging at least 100 hours of service.
"We are currently looking for more volunteers," Heimbush said. "Our numbers have in-creased over the last month and we need more hands to help serve."
In addition to cash, the Community Kitchen's website says donations of the following items are also needed: coffee; canned fruit and vegetables; pasta; macaroni and cheese; gelatin; fruit drink mixes; store-bought cookies; spaghetti sauce; American or provolone cheese slices; shredded cheddar, Mexican blend or mozzarella cheese.