Will Bike 4 Food raises more than $114,000 to fight hunger in Western Massachusetts
On Sunday, September 25, The Food Bank of Western Massachusetts held its 6th annual Will Bike 4 Food charity cycling event at The Lion’s Club Pavilion in Hatfield. More than 350 cyclists of all ages and experience levels participated in the event and raised more than $114,000 to benefit The Food Bank.
“It’s very exciting to see all of these riders, volunteers and sponsors come together to support our community,” explains our executive director, Andrew Morehouse. “Through their efforts, we can continue to distribute healthy food to children, seniors and hard-working families in the four counties of Western Massachusetts who don’t know where their next meal is coming from.”
Since Will Bike 4 Food began in 2011, this event has raised more than $414,000, providing the equivalent of more than 1.2 million meals to our neighbors in need throughout Western Massachusetts. That’s a significant effort, from a growing number of caring individuals, to end hunger and raise awareness in our community.
Cyclists rode one of four routes — 10, 25, 50 or 100 miles — through the Pioneer Valley. This year’s event drew the most team participation with 38 teams, made up of businesses, community organizations, schools, and family & friends. All proceeds from Will Bike 4 Food will benefit The Food Bank, helping us organize and distribute more healthy food to over 200 partner agencies, including food pantries, emergency meal sites and shelters. It will also help support our direct-to-client feeding programs, including Brown Bag: Food for Elders (serving thousands of area seniors) and the Mobile Food Bank program (bringing fresh, perishable food directly to under-served communities).
As the need for emergency food in our community increases, more than 211,000 people in cities and towns across all four counties of Western Massachusetts turn to food pantries and meal service programs to feed themselves and their families each year. Last year, we distributed nearly 10 million pounds of food through our region’s emergency food network.
We’d like to thank all who participated in this year’s Will Bike 4 Food ride. Our plan is to make next year’s event bigger and better, and we look forward to continued support from the local community.