Cyclists net nearly $214K for Food Bank of Western Massachusetts

  • The 2021 Will Bike 4 Food funderaiser in Hatfield. file photoi

Staff Writer
Published: 9/28/2022 8:49:51 PM

HATFIELD — More than 170 agencies that partner with the Food Bank of Western Massachusetts, including food pantries, emergency meal sites and shelters, will benefit from more than $200,000 raised in an annual bicycle ride that took place last Sunday.

The 12th annual Will Bike 4 Food — the second in a row held in person from the Lion’s Club Pavilion in Hatfield, as well as in virtual format — drew more than 350 cyclists of all ages, raising $213,853.

“It is inspiring to see so many people come together to raise funds and awareness for such an important cause,” Jillian Morgan, director of philanthropy at The Food Bank, said in a statement.

The Food Bank is in the midst of commemorating its 40th anniversary, and is also constructing a new headquarters in Chicopee.

Cyclists could ride 10, 25, 50 or 100 miles through the region while raising funds and awareness of food insecurity in western Massachusetts. Local organizations, corporate groups and children were among the top team fundraisers, with Heart & Soul collecting $17,490, CEFamily $9,367 and Helping Hand $5,000.

Since its start in 2011, Will Bike 4 Food has raised over $1.3 million, which translates into more than 5.2 million meals for people in need throughout the four westernmost counties in Massachusetts. More than 90,000 people in those counties have used emergency food services annually.

The donations will also help support The Food Bank’s direct-to-client meal programs, including the Brown Bag: Food for Elders and the Mobile Food Bank.

Scott Merzbach can be reached at smerzbach@gazettenet.com.
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