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In Your Opinion: Tour De Franklin Raises $63,000; Food Bank Needs Growing

By Doreen Clark, Somerset. 

The Franklin Township Food Bank’s 25th annual Tour De Franklin bike ride fundraiser drew 660 participants, raising over $63,000 for the Food Bank. Held on April 27 in Somerset, NJ, it was the second most successful Tour, both in terms of participation and funds raised, since its inception 25 years ago. The Tour De Franklin is the Food Bank’s largest annual fundraiser, and it is an opportunity to bring avid cyclists, local schools, and the Franklin Township community together for one day to support a local cause – fighting hunger. With bike rides ranging 5 to 62 miles and rides and walks along the scenic D&R Canal path, the Tour De Franklin has become a defining community event. This year, to commemorate the 25 years the Tour De Franklin has been fighting hunger, the Food Bank honored 19 people who individually raised more than $250 each for the ride and one team that collectively raised $2,500 with commemorative t-shirts.

Community Need Continues to Grow

660 people and $63,000 is a significant increase from the Tour’s humble beginnings 25 years ago. The Tour’s inaugural ride in 1989, sponsored by local UFO Salon owners Paul and Nancy Goldberg, included 30 riders and raised $1,500. The Tour De Franklin has grown, but so has the Food Bank and the community need it serves. In 1989, the organization’s annual budget was just $3,000. In 2013, the non-profit’s annual budget was over $600,000. Recently, the Food Bank has seen a sharp increase in the need for its services. April 2014 was one of its most active months, with almost 900 visits during the month, and about a 20% increase from April last year.

Franklin Township Food Bank’s fight against local hunger

For over 30 years, the Franklin Township Food Bank’s mission has been to provide food and assistance to people in need. In 2013 it serviced nearly 10,000 client visits, up 800 visits, or more than 60 new visits per month, over 2012. The Food Bank receives much of its funding through donations and fundraising events such as the Tour De Franklin. Other upcoming events include: Wine Tasting on June 5th, Golf fore Groceries on July 21st, Softball Tournament between the Franklin Township PBA and the Franklin Township Adult Softball League on Sunday, September 7th and wrapping up with CanalFest on Saturday, October 18th.To learn more about the Franklin Township Food bank and future events, go to www.franklinfoodbank.org , call 732-246-0009, and follow on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

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