BRIDGEWATER, NJ - For their Bronze Award, Hillsiide Intermediate School Junior Troop 63316 hosted a Fun Run at the school June 1 for hunger awareness.

The fifth grade members of the troop said they held the fun run to raise awareness about poverty and a lack of food, as well as to raise money for those in need.

Troop member Matilda Bain said they initially wanted to do a 5K, but changed it to a fun run so that all ages could participate. The goal, she said, is to raise awareness for local food banks, and participants were asked to bring in a few cans of food to donate.

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"We were talking about how there are a lot of people who go hungry, and it isn't just happening in other countries, it's also happening here in Somerset County," said troop member Sophia Johnson. "This Fun Run is important because it will teach everybody to eat healthy and to not waste food. Overall, we decided to do a Fun Run for our Bronze Award because we want to teach people that everybody should conserve food and not waste it."

Troop member Olivia Letso said something as simple as donating change to a hunger foundation or food to a food bank can make a huge difference.

"I want people to be aware of hunger because everyone has seen at least one person who was living on the streets, and it is very sad and scary," she said. "By telling people that lack of food and poverty is the cause of homelessness and hunger, they might want to do some things to help end it."

Troop member Jenna Bloom said she believed it was something that could help many people in the community.

"We could have the opportunitty to bring positive change to people's lives and make it so that they don't go hungry," she said. "Some people don't think about how lucky they are to have enough food, and, by doing this for our Bronze Award, we could make people realize that they are fortunate to have food, and it is important to donate to those who don't."

In addition to the run, troop member Juliet Gil said, they also made up a food tossing game for the event and created bean bag food.

"We had a lot of fun learning and working on hunger and feeding the less fortunate through our volunteering at a local food bank," she said. "We had a great time working and learning together."

— Photos by Dawn Wilde