30th Annual ‘Tour De Franklin’ Raises $78,000 For Food Bank

Cyclists recharge at a rest stop at the Ying Hua School in Kingston.

About 600 cyclists helped raised more than $78,000 April 28 in the 30th annual Tour de Franklin bicycle tour, benefiting the Franklin Food Bank.

The riders participated in tours of the township ranging from 10 miles to 62.5 miles, as well as walks along the D&R Canal.

Frank Hasner, the food bank’s executive director, said community contributions are especially needed now because the food bank has incurred some added expenses with a new building and a new program.

“As important, it is a community awareness and friend-raiser,” he said. “A lot of folks that are involved with our organization over the years started by doing the tour, and that’s how we connect with the community.”

The food bank moved into a larger facility at 224 Churchill Avenue, and has also started a new food distribution model.

“Back in the day, we tried to do an equitable food distribution by doing fixed packages,” he said. “Well-balanced, you had proteins, you had starches and vegetables, but we gave the same package out to everybody when they came. They may have had a jar of peanut butter in their cupboard, and we gave them another jar of peanut butter. Not very efficient.”

“So what we’ve done is we’ve adopted a program where the clients can shop themselves,” Hasner said. “Basically it’s a small market and it’s based on points. We scale the points based on family size. People can shop whenever we’re open, you can come when you need to.”

“So far it’s been a rousing success, but it’s costly,” he said. “The community’s really got to get behind us, and they have up till now.”

Hasner said he believes the food bank is serving the same number of families as it has over the past year, but the new distribution system makes it hard to track that.

“We used to count visits, but that’s out the window now, because people can visit 4, 5, 6 times a month, as opposed to once a month,” he said. “We have to get a new metric.”

Paul Goldberg, the Tour de Franklin’s founder, thanked the riders and the food bank volunteers for, he said, making teh day a success.

“I want to thank every one of you for participating in the tour,” he said. “For those who participate year-after-year, and for those who are new, from the bottom of my heart I thank you. It’s been a labor of love.”

“Every dollar we raise buys food for people in need,” he said. “If there’s one thing as a country we need to do, it’s help people in our own communities. Thank you for participating, thank you for your dollars.”

Lisa Frey, the food bank’s tour coordinator, also thanked the riders and volunteers.


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