By: Jen Russon
On the first day of Jon Amihud’s fundraiser for Feeding South Florida, the skies were clear and blue, with temperatures in the low 60s, making the 34-year-old marathon runner wish he could do more than just one mile.
He kept the brisk, morning run close to home in Parkland Village inside Parkland Reserve, where he lives with his wife Amber, daughter Marni and rescue dog, Aladdin.
The next day Amihud will run four miles, and the day after that, five, eventually capping things off with a 31-mile run on the last day of December.
“There is no guarantee that I will succeed in this physically. It will be brutal. The most I’ve ever run in a month, ever, was 214. And that was in October,” said Amihud, whose goal is to raise a minimum of $5,000 for Feeding South Florida.
He believes turning his passion for long-distance running into a fundraising opportunity is a great way to raise awareness for people dealing with food insecurity in South Florida.
For every dollar he manages to raise, nine meals are served. So far, so good: Amihud’s fundraiser currently sits at $717, and he believes that the nonprofit makes a real difference in the lives of 1.5 million Floridians to help carry them through COVID-19.
Committed to seeing his goal through, Amihud said he maintains a plant-based diet, runs every day, and doesn’t intend on cutting his hair.
“If you see a curly-headed guy running through your neighborhood, that’s me. I haven’t cut my hair since the start of the pandemic,” he joked.
Amihud hopes his children one day appreciate what an opportunity running is for self-confidence, as well as setting their minds toward accomplishing virtually anything under the sun.
This is not to say there haven’t been a few bumps in the road. Keeping track of his miles and other necessities runners have to think about got a little harder when Amihud’s Apple watch broke on his first day of the fundraiser.
“I used to run into gas stations to buy a water and just pay with my Apple Watch before it cracked,” he said, adding that on his last day of marathon running, he’ll want to buy a meal at some point, and this means cash bumping around in his pocket.
Amihud said he’s restricting his runs this month to nostalgic routes around the neighborhoods that remind him of growing up in the Pine Ridge community.
As a graduate of Coral Springs High School, Amihud spent time working in pizza restaurants.
He hopes the managers of some of these beloved restaurants read about what he’s doing and donate; however, he understands if they’ve been hit too hard.
Even in his own neck of the woods, miles-long food lines are a common sight since March. Statistics from Feeding South Florida bare this out. The nonprofit organization has held events in Coral Springs, drawing hundreds to the Coral Square Mall distribution site.
One in 5 adults and 1 in 4 children in South Florida are food insecure, but Feeding South Florida helps to change that, serving millions struggling to put food on the table.
Amihud said these facts and figures hit home for him.
“I will be attempting the Calendar Club run challenge, created by Jesse Itzler and Marq Brown, and since completed by Colin O’Brady, Desiree Linden, and so many more,” Amihud wrote on his Facebook page.
To help Amihud on his 496-mile quest to fight hunger in South Florida, donate here.
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- Jen Russon is a freelance writer and English Language Arts teacher. She has published two novels to Amazon Kindle and lives in Coral Springs with her family.
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