in San Jose on Thanksgiving Day. Founded by the Silicon Valley Leadership Group Foundation
in 2004, with Applied Materials of Silicon Valley as sponsor, the event hopes to attract 28,000 participants this year.
"Our goal this year is to raise $850,000 for the three charities we will be giving to," said SVLG Foundation's Vice President Steve Wright. Those charities are the Housing Trust of Silicon Valley, Healthier Kids Foundation of Santa Clara County and Second Harvest Food Bank serving San Mateo, Santa Clara and Santa Cruz Counties.
"We are asking that each person attending bring at least four cans of food," said Wright. "We hope to collect 26,000 pounds of canned goods," he said. And, he noted that of the 20 similar turkey trot runs across the nation, "our Turkey Trot is now the largest timed trot in the nation on Thanksgiving Day,"
"For the fifth year in a row, Palmer College of Chiropractic’s West Campus
in San Jose will have a major presence at the event, and have a significant 'hands-on' role," said Chuck Bustillos, communications director speaking on behalf of the college.
The 25-foam segment Palmer Spine made by the chiropractic college will once again provide “the backbone” of the SVLG Foundation Turkey Trot. "And Our West Campus Sports Council, featuring interns and doctors from the Palmer Chiropractic Clinic, based at the West Campus in San Jose on East Tasman Drive which as Bustillos pointed out, is not far from the food bank, will serve as the official sports care provider," he said.
Bustillos Bustillos noted that reaching out to the community is strongly encouraged and in many ways is part of the curriculum at Palmer College.
The College’s multi-faceted role at the Silicon Valley Turkey Trot, is another example of how Palmer is “in touch” with the community it has served for more than three decades. Recognizing those in need is not only about aching backs, but also about hunger and disintegrating infrastructures.
Compounding the problem is the high cost of living, which makes it hard for people with low incomes to meet their basic needs. As the staff at Second Harvest Food Bank
points out, in Santa Clara and San Mateo counties, the average price for a single-family home topped $1 million. Rent is above $2,000 a month for the average apartment.
While the economy may be improving in some areas like the Silicon Valley, the need for food is continuing to rise. The number of people Second Harvest serves each month has grown to more than 250,000.
“Now that the recession is in the rear-view mirror, many people think the need for food has gone down, but that couldn’t be further from the truth,” said Kathy Jackson, CEO of Second Harvest Food Bank. “The reality is more people continue to need help from the Food Bank. The numbers are going up, not down," she said.
"The recession pushed many of our neighbors into poverty and we haven’t seen the kind of rebound in the job market that is needed to get people back on their feet." "So it continues to be very hard times for the people we serve.”
Second Harvest has also set a goal to raise 2 million pounds of food during the campaign, which continues through January. And it is the food bank's hope that through events like the Turkey Trot the awareness of those in need will inspire more generosity.
Yet as Wright explained to the San Jose Mercury News
the growing popularity of the event is because, "people want to experience a little family time together that's outside, away from television and other distractions," he said. "And the amazing thing is how people, when you watch them on the course, are just really talking." Wright mentioned the trot consists of "mothers, grandmothers, spouses, kids, significant others; just about everybody is engaged and talking together."
Both he and Bustillos see the event as a way to build community and allow people an opportunity to give back to the community while celebrating the season.
The trot for both the 5k and the 10k runs will start at West Santa Clara and Market Streets. The 10k run will go further past The Alameda, going down Randol Street to Park and Mariposa Avenues. Both of the runs will finish at Santa Clara Street at Delmas Street. Festivities will continue on after the trot at the Arena Green of Guadalupe River Park.
For info about registration and more details visit the SVLG Foundation web site Turkey Trot page.