AMHERST, Mass. (WWLP) – Kids, families, college students, and everyone in between woke up bright and early to support a good cause on Saturday.

The University of Massachusetts Dining Services hosted their 12th annual “UMass 5K Dash and Dine” on the Amherst campus. The goal was to promote health and wellness at the University while raising funds for The Amherst Survival Center. The Center’s main mission is to help with food insecurity.

“It’s a great Saturday morning. It’s a great opportunity to have some fun, get some exercise, and also support a wonderful cause which has been around for many years in the local community. And for me personally I have a lot of fun doing it as well,” expressed the Director of Dining Services at UMass, Garett Distefano.

What’s made this run worth it even for those who might not love to wake up early on the weekends and go for a run is being able to support those in need. The day began with a fun run for children 8 years old and under, and then at 11 a.m. the official race began.

The race fee was $10 for all UMass and Five-College students, $20 for UMass Amherst faculty and staff, and $25 for the general public. In total, UMass dining has been able to raise over $57,000 for the Amherst Survival Center.

Kelley Jewell the Development Manager at the Amherst Survival Center told 22News, “This is an incredible event. It’s actually my first time here, so it’s amazing to see everyone coming out here, and it’s going to play a major role in us being able to provide meals, groceries, and other resources to those in the community who need them.”

The morning concluded with an award ceremony and lunch where the emcee of the event 22News Meteorologist Brian Lapis certainly didn’t miss out on the fun.