On Sunday, October 28, 2018, runners and community members from across northern New Jersey will come together to participate in the Halloween 5K to Scare Hunger Away, being held at the Garret Mountain Reservation in Woodland Park, New Jersey. This Halloween-themed charity race is being hosted by the Barwick Group for the 4th year and will benefit CUMAC, Passaic County’s largest feeding program. The race includes a timed and certified course, trick-or-treat stations for all ages, a Kids Fun Run, as well as giveaways and prizes for top finishers and best costumes.

Robert Barwick, organizer of the event and owner of Barwick Group Events, is originally from Paterson, New Jersey and created the race as a way of giving back to his hometown.  “I now live and work in Wayne, but Paterson will always be my home,” says Barwick. “I’m trying to do what I can to help.” 

Despite an improving economy, hunger and unemployment rates remain high in Paterson and Passaic County, leaving thousands of local residents still struggling to meet their basic needs. Charitable organizations like CUMAC are providing vital services to thousands of low-income families every month, but collecting sufficient resources continues to be a challenge.  

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Seeing a unique opportunity to utilize nearly three decades of event coordination experience, Barwick asked CUMAC, an organization he has supported for years, to team up for the race. “Our business niche is coordinating running events so we thought why not combine what we do for a living with a charitable effort that works closely with a place we call home,” says Barwick. 

Race attendees and participants are also encouraged to bring nonperishable food items with them to the event. All food collected will support food insecure families in Paterson and throughout northern New Jersey. 

“CUMAC is taking tremendous steps this year to grow our programs and better meet the needs of our community.  We’re extremely grateful to our friends at the Barwick Group and to our Scare Hunger runners for coming together in support of CUMAC’s vision of a better world, one where nobody need experience hunger or poverty,” says Stephanie Ames, Director of Development.

With CUMAC on pace to serve over 65,000 people this year and the holiday season — the busiest time of year for food pantries — just weeks away, the race will help provide a necessary boost to the agency’s resources. 

Incorporated in 1985, CUMAC first operated as a volunteer-run organization that served groceries to a few dozen families from a borrowed church closet. Since then CUMAC has grown to become a multi-service agency working from a 28,000 square foot facility. CUMAC is serving over 2,500 clients monthly and providing produce and other surplus healthy foods for an additional 4,000 people every month. Last year, its warehouse received and distributed over 1.5 million pounds of food.

Barwick Group is an event production firm based in Wayne and founded by Robert Barwick in 1995. It has worked on over 1,500 events including the J.P. Morgan Corporate Challenge, U.S. Open Tennis, NYC Marathon, The Gates Project for Central Park and its own race, Grape Gallop held at local wineries.

To register for the Halloween 5K to Scare Hunger Away or to learn more visit www.scarehunger5k.com.