Charity cycling event asks participants to ride toward a hunger free community The Food Bank of Western Massachusetts hosts the first annual “Will Bike 4 Food” charity ride on September 30 in Hatfield.
When: Sunday, September 30, 2012
Where: The Food Bank of Western Massachusetts headquarters, 97 North Hatfield Rd., Hatfield, MA
What: Hatfield, MA-On September 30, The Food Bank of Western Massachusetts will host the second annual “Will Bike 4 Food” charity cycling event. Focused on fostering community around a healthy activity, “Will Bike 4 Food” raises funds and awareness to fight hunger and food insecurity in Berkshire, Franklin, Hampden and Hampshire Counties.
Cyclists embark from The Food Bank’s headquarters, tucked in the beautiful farmland of Hatfield, Mass., on one of three routes through scenic Pioneer Valley. Twenty-five, 50 and 100 mile routes offer views of local mountains, vibrant foliage and bucolic farms and fields. (Descriptions of the routes can be found here: http://www.foodbankwma.org/events/bike/route-descriptions/). The Food Bank has been working closely with cycling experts to determine the most interesting and challenging routes for any level of cyclist.
Following the ride, an after party back at The Food Bank will feature beer donated by Berkshire Brewing Company, food from local restaurants, and entertainment. Families and friends of participating cyclists who wish to attend the after-party may participate in the festivities for an admission fee of 15 dollars.
“We are thrilled and excited to continue this event for a second year,” says Andrew Morehouse, executive director of The Food Bank. “An event that brings people together around a humbling and important cause for a day of activity and community is one that we are proud to host. We hope that it will prove successful for years to come.”
“When I was homeless years ago hunger was a fairly constant companion, and on two occasions I received medical treatment for hunger pains,” says Berkshire County resident Peter Kahrmann, cyclist and participant in Will Bike 4 Food (his fundraising page can be found here: http://www.firstgiving.com/fundraiser/peterkahrmann/will-bike-4-food). The victim of a gunshot wound in the eighties which resulted in a traumatic brain injury, Kahrmann collects disability and earns some wages from freelance writing, but does not qualify for SNAP (food stamps). He has trouble paying for both expenses and food. Visits to the Northern Berkshire Interfaith Action Initiative Friendship Center pantry (a Food Bank member agency) on Eagle Street in North Adams help stretch his monthly budget and ensure that he has enough to eat.
“If you’ve gone hungry, it is something you never forget,” says Kahrmann. “People-and we’re talking about children, too-don’t just need The Food Bank of Western Mass. or need the food pantries they go to, they deserve them,” he adds. Kahrmann’s first-hand experiences with hunger and food-assistance prompted him to join Will Bike 4 Food and support the emergency food network in Western Mass.
One-hundred percent of the proceeds from Will Bike 4 Food will benefit The Food Bank of Western Mass., and will help the organization distribute much needed food to Western Mass. residents in need. Every dollar raised will enable The Food Bank to provide 13 dollars of food. So far, participating cyclists have raised nearly $17,000 and counting.
Members of the media are invited to join The Food Bank and those participating in the ride on Saturday, September 17. Photo and interview opportunities include: cyclists on the trails, the view from the trails, community members and volunteers at Millside Park, Food Bank Staff, and sponsors. A full schedule of the day can be found at www.foodbankwma.org/events/bike.
The Food Bank of Western Massachusetts provides individuals facing hunger with the food they need to survive and leads communities towards long-term solutions to the problem of hunger in our region. Serving the four counties of Western Massachusetts, The Food Bank is the leading provider of emergency food that reaches individuals and families with lower incomes. We are committed to working with our community to reduce hunger and increase food security. The Food Bank seeks to make nutritious food affordable and accessible for all residents in our region. For more information on how you can get involved in your community, visit www.foodbankwma.org.