Monday, August 05, 2013

Wheels for Meals!

The folks at Wheels for Meals and the Jeff Davis Food Pantry pointed us to a neat interview with this (great) bike ride's founder, Margaret O'Connell, and we wanted to share some excerpts with you.  This is a GREAT ride, for a GREAT cause on some of the most scenic roads you'll find anywhere!  (Read the entire interview posted on site last year, here!)  Please note:  This year's ride is October 5!

What was the motivation behind starting the tour and who benefits from it?
I have personally participated in many charity bike rides and saw the power they have to not only raise money, but to raise awareness. When I moved to Fort Davis, I quickly realized the the Pantry was perhaps the single most crucial nonprofit in JDCty, because without the supplemental food it provides, children would not do well in school, families would suffer. Nearly 20% of the JDC population receives supplemental and school lunch foods from the Pantry.
How have they been able to utilize the funds in the past?
Funds raised through the WfM event make up almost 1/2 of the Pantry’s annual budget, paying for tons of foods and paying for operations of the building facilities to ensure our doors stay open.
Logistically, can you give us an idea how many volunteers, finances, and planning it takes to put on this event?
We have over 40 volunteers providing support at two pit stops and lunch stop, driving SAG vehicles, and information at the registration. The Riders’ $50 registration fee covers the costs of the t-shirts, pit stop snacks and drinks. We have nearly 30 sponsors this year donating dollars and in-kind goods to support the ride. Most of the sponsors donatipons and ALL of the riders’ fund raising monies go directly to services. Even all the the food and beverages at the post-ride cookout are donated by sponsors and our board members.
What was the most rewarding experience throughout the years hosting this event?
Hearing the positive comments from our riders and volunteers about the quality of the ride: the beauty of the scenery, the enthusiasm of the volunteers, the quality of the pit stops and qauntity of snacks, the good and rewarding feelings the riders and volunteers have about their constributions to helping the Pantry’s consumers.

Want to learn more?  Want to ride?  Click here to learn more specifics about the ride.  Click here to learn more about the Food Pantry

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