A benefit race will be held this weekend to raise money for Backpack Buddies.

The sixth annual Hustle for Hunger 5K is slated from 8-11 a.m. Sunday.

The event begins and ends at Richard Warren Middle School, 3501 New Lawrence Road.

Mama Mia’s Italian Restaurant, 402 S. 20th St., will offer a pasta meal Saturday when participants pick up their race packets.

Backpack Buddies is a supplemental weekend feeding program of Second Harvest Community Food Bank, based in St. Joseph, Missouri. It is designed to provide school children with two meals and one snack on the weekends when school is not in session.

Second Harvest Community Food Bank services 15 counties in northwest Missouri and four counties in northeast Kansas, according to Blake Haynes, communications coordinator for the agency.

He said the agency serves approximately 3,500 children each week.

Sandy Simmons, local organizer for Backpack Buddies, said the group serves approximately 600 children per week at Leavenworth’s four elementary schools and the Head Start program.

She said it costs $175 per school year per student. That amounts to approximately $105,000 each year to run the program.

She said last year’s Hustle for Hunger 5K raised approximately $8,000 for Backpack Buddies.

Jody McKnight is one of the organizers for the Hustle for Hunger 5K.

She said approximately 300 people participated in the event last year.

McKnight said funds raised at the event go to the Backpack Buddies programs in the Leavenworth, Lansing and Basehor-Linwood school districts.

“We are just trying to help kids in the community,” McKnight said.

She said the event has raised more than $30,000 for Backpack Buddies in the last five years.

She said race participants are encouraged to bring non-perishable food items to the event as an extra donation.

Entry fee for the Hustle for Hunger 5K is $40 per person and $20 for children 12-under.

For more information about Second Harvest Community Food Bank, call 816-364-3663.

For more information about Backpack Buddies, call Simmons at 913-306-2000.

For more information about the Hustle for Hunger 5K, visit www.hustleforhunger.com