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DeKalb Teacher Runs 60 Miles To Raise Money For Barb Food Mart

The “Goggins Challenge” involves running four miles, every four hours for 48 hours, day and night – that’s 48 miles. For middle school teacher Jenn Harrison, it was a little too short. She laced up her shoes and tacked on an extra mile to each to make it an even 60 miles.

She posted about the run on her Facebook page and got 43 friends and coworkers to pledge money and raised $2,000 for the Barb Food Mart pantry, which helps provide food and household supplies for families in the DeKalb School District.

“$1 equals $8 in the food catalog," she said. "So, when I went down there and handed them the check, they were like 'you bought a whole food truck shipment that was coming in that next day plus two weeks' worth of milk.' And that was really a cool feeling."

Harrison volunteers with the Barb Food Mart and knows the food goes directly to students. She said that made it an easy choice as the organization that would benefit from her challenge.

The food mart serves about 750 people every week. 60% of DeKalb students are low-income. Harrison said she knows more people have had to rely on the food mart during COVID-19. In fact, millions of people have turned to food banks for the first time during the pandemic.

“They were super psyched to get that [check]," said Harrison. "I know that everything has been really tight everywhere and one of the places that get hit the hardest is the food bank. They get more people coming and far fewer donations."

As for the run itself, she said her legs felt fine -- she’s a marathoner -- but the lack of sleep caught up with her a bit on the second day of the weekend. She would run the streets of DeKalb with a friend during the day and made the trip to her gym at night to run a treadmill.

People honked in support as she ran by and she even had students record her running and post it on social media. But she said helping stock the shelves was all she needed to power her through the 60 miles. 

The Barb Food Mart says aside from food, some of their biggest needs are plastic grocery bags, diapers and shampoo.