Teixeira raises $6,500 for food bank with neighborhood run

Teixeira raises $6,500 for food bank with neighborhood run

Joy Teixeira, a rising senior at Mount Saint Charles Academy, raised $6,500 for the Rhode Island Community Food Bank in April by running 19 miles around her Cumberland neighborhood.

CUMBERLAND – Joy Teixeira, a Cumberland resident and rising senior at Mount Saint Charles Academy, raised $6,500 for the Rhode Island Community Food Bank in April by embarking on her own 19x19 run.

Teixeira said she was inspired to plan the run because she wanted to help her community after the onset of COVID-19. She initially reached out to Meals on Wheels in hopes of volunteering as a driver, but learned you had to be 18.

“I kind of realized that a lot of these organizations wanted you to be 18 in order to volunteer your time,” she said. “I thought, ‘There has to be a way to help out even though you’re under 18.’”

Her parents, Jill and John Teixeira, recommended a fundraising run to raise money for the Rhode Island Community Food Bank. Teixeira, an avid runner, like the idea. At Mount, she plays on the girls’ varsity volleyball team and was supposed to spend her first season on the girls’ outdoor track team this spring but had only been to one practice when school was moved to home due to COVID-19.

Teixeira said she wanted to run 19 miles to symbolize COVID-19, but hadn’t trained to run 19 miles straight. Instead, she planned a 19x19 event, running one mile around her neighborhood every hour for 19 hours in a row. She started the run on April 19 at 7 p.m., or 1900 hours in military time.

“It was pretty challenging. It took me an average of about eight minutes to run each mile,” she said.

Teixeira said she tried not to sleep in between the miles so her muscles wouldn’t tense up. The hardest miles, she said, were around 5 and 6 a.m. before breakfast gave her a burst of energy to finish the last six miles.

She set an initial fundraising goal of $2,500. The effort ultimately raised more than $6,500 with about 70 different individuals donating.

Teixeira said she was glad to be able to donate the funds to the food bank. She’s previously volunteered at the Northern Rhode Island Food Pantry, one of the food bank’s member agencies, and hopes to stay involved with the food bank in the future.

“A lot of people during this time lost their jobs and whatnot. The food bank was getting more and more overwhelmed with the amount of people they were getting,” she said.

The high school student hopes to join the U.S. military after she graduates next year and is currently in the process of applying to the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland.