In Your Opinion: Tour de Franklin Sets Record

Submitted by the Franklin Food Bank.

About 700 cyclists and walkers participated in the 33rd Tour de Franklin Charity Bike Ride, held on Sunday, April 24 in Somerset. Together with community sponsors they raised a record $130,000 for the Franklin Food Bank.

The Tour de Franklin has been an individual ride for the past two years due to public safety precautions in the pandemic, but returned as an in-person event on the traditional last Sunday of April. It provided a long-awaited opportunity for people to come together for a common cause and enjoy the early Spring weather.  

Each year 600 to 800 people participate in the Tour de Franklin, joining events from the 62-mile ride to the 1-5-mile walk or ride. “There was a lot of uncertainty in planning the Tour de Franklin this year. We didn’t know if we would have the same level of participation due to the break in the in-person event for the past two years, “explained Lisa Frey, Tour Chairperson. “We were thrilled to see that the community indeed looks forward to the Tour de Franklin and supporting the Franklin Food Bank.”

The Tour de Franklin is the Franklin Food Bank’s largest annual fundraising event. Until this year, the highest amount of funding raised was $80,000. Franklin Food Bank Executive Director Derek Smith added, “We could not be more ecstatic with this incredible fundraising accomplishment nor more humbled by the generosity of the Tour de Franklin participants, the donors who supported them, and the community sponsors.” 

All funding raised by the Tour de Franklin directly supports the Franklin Food Bank in its mission to serve the food needs of the local community in an atmosphere of dignity and respect. The funding provide by the Tour de Franklin is critical to the Franklin Food Bank operations. Many families were abruptly affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and turned to the Food Bank for assistance, and in 2020 and 2021 the number of families the Franklin Food Bank helped more than doubled, from 1,800 families in 2019 to over 4,500 in 2020 and 3,800 in 2021.

Additionally the Food Bank develops innovative initiatives to address hunger locally, including a community garden, working with local farmers, outreach programs, and the Client Choice Program. In the Program, clients are no longer provided a standard package of food, but allocated points to choose the food they need from the Food Bank stocks.

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