NORTHAMPTON, Mass. (WGGB) — A local radio personality set out on a long trek this morning all to help out those in need this holiday season, with a tricked out shopping cart
Well before the sun came up, Chris “Monte” Belmonte from The River 99.3 was warming up his souped-on shopping cart for an unusal journey into the chilly morning air.
“We are marching 26 miles from here on King Street in Northampton to Greenfield. Twenty-six miles with an empty shopping cart as a symbol of hunger to raise money and awareness for the Food Bank of Western Mass.,” says Belmonte.
Along for the long haul was the executive director of the Food Bank who said the stunt was vital to feeding thousands of families in need this holiday season.
“I’m just so proud and privileged and proud and impressed by the work that he is doing to help support the Food Bank and ultimately 135,000 people in all 4 counties across western Mass. who don’t know where there next meal is coming from,” adds Andrew Morehouse, Exec. Director of the Food Bank.
Belmonte has raised money for the Food Bank before, in a more traditional sense. This year he wanted to go over the top.
“We thought how can we make this a ridiculous publicity stunt and up the ante and when the notion was pushed that we would take a shopping cart from Northampton from business to business in downtown Northampton, what if we hot rod a shopping cart out with the kids at Smith Voc. and push it all the way to Greenfield,” Belmonte says.
At the Food Bank distribution center in Hatfield, workers were busy loading up supplies, ready for delivery and well aware of the importance of this morning’s shopping cart cruise.
Megan Pete from the Food Bank notes, “As fun as it seems to do something as crazy as marching with a radical looking shopping cart, it helps draw attention to the issue.”
And that attention will bring in dollars that will multiply the effort to feed the hungry
“For every dollar contributed, we are able to essentially distribute $9 worth of food or it provides 3 meals.”
If you would like to help the Food Bank of Western Massachusetts call 1-888-323-HOPE or visit their website