For the 10th year, residents of the Stamford community came together for the annual 5K Miles for a Mission Race to raise funds for the New Covenant Center. The race took place at St. Francis Episcopal Church off Long Ridge Road.

The New Covenant Center provides meals to people in need, including the homeless, elderly, mentally ill and families in need. The center says each year they serve about 600,000 meals. It also operates as a food pantry three times a week.

“We have seen a large increase in the number of people, especially driving up for lunches and dinner every day, seven days a week,” says Executive Director John Gutman.

Gutman says with the rise of inflation in recent months, there’s been a steady increase in people reaching out for meals and help.

“These are the people who have been hit hard. Their paychecks are limited…and challenging them to find ways to save money,” he says.

“Thousands of more people we had before came out to get food.”

More than $26,000 was raised for the center during the day’s events.

“For 43 years, the New Covenant Center has been helping the hungry, homeless, and disadvantaged,” says Gutman.

Organizers say volunteers and participants are making the difference in the community many others rely on.

“Volunteers are crucial…We only have 13-14 full time people but hundreds of volunteers that help us forge paths to those who need it,” says Gutman.

So far, the center raised over $26,000 at the race. Donations to the center can be made on its website.