Rising food insecurity inspires bold new Toronto Food Run Challenge

Running is something we love. It keeps us healthy, both physically and mentally. But it can’t put food on the table. Well, maybe not, but with the virtual Toronto Food Run Challenge, it can help. 

There are some shocking statistics throughout North America regarding food insecurity, which has to do with not always knowing when your next meal is coming or the one after that. The new virtual run coming to the Greater Toronto Area shines a light on this issue, raises money for the local Second Harvest food bank all while offering an amazing race experience.

The event is a six-week challenge to be run any time before Aug. 5. Participants can run, bike, swim, hula-hoop their way to distances of 30, 60, 90, or 120 miles over that period. So, as little as five miles per week makes the challenge accessible to most, while the longer distances can provide something with some substance to those looking for a reason to crank up the mileage. 

“Those not used to a fitness habit can use this challenge as a way to start,” says Steve Lackey of the event team Endurance Productions. “Those who want to reach a little further can try the 20-mile per week challenge.”

The cost of the event is $44, which includes a sweet shirt with the Toronto Food Run Challenge emblazoned on the front and your selected challenge on the back as well as a race medal. When registering there is an opportunity to select a donation amount for the food bank. 

According to Lackey, they keep the registration as low as possible to give people a chance to donate, and it is working. 

“Toronto is crushing it,” he says. “In a very short time, 89 people have already registered and $3,500 has been raised.”

The concept is from the folks at Endurance Magazine Productions. Lackey, the Endurance founder, saw what was going on in North America and wanted to dedicate a race series to the cause. 

“With COVID-19 rolling through the world, especially in North America, we were seeing one of the main impacts was around food insecurity,” he says. “It is impacted by economic conditions. One in eight people, before the pandemic, were food insecure, and following the pandemic, estimates are for a four-fold impact and that is terrifying.”


The Toronto Food Run Challenge will help support the efforts of Second Harvest


Lackey has begun organizing other Food Run Challenge events throughout North America to great success, always partnering with local organizations such as Second Harvest in Toronto and local vendors to make sure the benefit stays with the community. 

“We are working across North America, trying to work locally within each market to help people stay connected and engaged to their communities,” he says. “It’s not the Canadian Food Run, rather it’s the Toronto Food Run. It’s our goal to get the people around the community to engage with purpose in fitness, improving our own lives and habits and connecting that to the cause, which is making sure people are supported and avoiding food insecurity.”

For more information on the event go to


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