HATFIELD,MA—On Sunday, September 27, The Food Bank of Western Massachusetts held its 5th Annual Will Bike 4 Food charity cycling event at The Lion’s Club Pavilion in Hatfield. A record 280 riders of all ages and experience levels registered to ride one of four different routes (10, 25, 50, or 100 mile) through the beautiful Pioneer Valley to help raise funds and awareness for food insecurity in our region. So far, the event has raised $100,000 for The Food Bank of Western Massachusetts. Cyclists still have until Oct. 31 to complete their fundraising.
“It is very inspiring to see the community come together to support our neighbors in need,” says Andrew Morehouse, Executive Director of The Food Bank, who also rode the 100-mile course. “We are truly thankful for all of the riders, sponsors and volunteers that went the extra mile to make this event such a tremendous success, and help strengthen the emergency food network in Western Massachusetts.”
This year’s WB4F event drew the most team participation with 30 teams, made up of businesses, schools and friends & family. For the second straight year, Stop & Shop was not only the largest team with 26 riders, they were also the event’s top team fundraiser with more than $9,900.
All of the proceeds from Will Bike 4 Food will benefit The Food Bank of Western Massachusetts, and will help the organization distribute much needed food to their nearly 250 member agencies, including food pantries, emergency meal sites and shelters. It was also support their numerous programs, including Brown Bag: Food for Elders, and their Mobile Food Bank. The $100,000 raised at this annual event will provide an additional 300,000 meals.
As the need for emergency food in our community continues to increase, more than 235,000 people in cities and towns across Western Massachusetts turn to food pantries and meal service programs to feed themselves and their families. That’s 1 in every 4 people. They include seniors, children, veterans, and working families struggling to make ends meet.
Will Bike 4 Food wrapped-up Hunger Action Month — a month-long national campaign to help end hunger in our country. The Food Bank of Western Massachusetts (along with other food banks in the Feeding America network) celebrated Hunger Action Month by holding events throughout September to inspire people to take action to help the millions of people facing food insecure in the United States.
Will Bike 4 Food is made possible through the support of sponsors, including: Alekman DiTusa, Baystate Franklin Medical Center, C&S Wholesale Grocers, Cooley Dickinson Health Care, DMS, Easthampton Savings Bank, Health New England, Hits 94.3, Tighe & Bond, WHMP, WRSI, WWLP-22 News. In addition, many in- kind donations for the event have been provided by Berkshire Brewing Company, Coca-Cola, River Valley Markets, Signature Sounds, Speed & Sprocket Cycle Works, Smithsonian Caterers, Stop & Shop, Tandem Bagel Company, Team East BMX and Whole Foods Market.