“Tour de Hamp,” a Hampshire College team, rode in the Western Massachusetts Food Bank’s fourth annual Will Bike 4 Food fundraising event on September 28.
"Tour de Hamp," a Hampshire College team, rode in the Western Massachusetts Food Bank’s fourth annual Will Bike 4 Food fundraising event on September 28.
Participants bike through the Pioneer Valley for donations. For every donated dollar, the Food Bank provides $9 worth of food, assisting more than 200,000 people in need. The event is not a race — it is a community event in which participants work together to reach a common goal.
Hampshire's team, organized by Pam Tinto in the student life office, consisted of Professor Jaime Dávila, students Lucy Hollier and Juliette Humer, staff members Becca Groveman and Tinto, and the wife of a staff member, Theresa Crowley. This is the second year the Tour de Hamp team has participated in the event.
Hollier, who is a fourth-year student, says, “I decided to ride in Will Bike 4 Food as a way to have a connection to the larger community of Western Massachusetts. It was also a way for me to get outside, explore, and take a break from my Division III while doing something productive.”
"There are some basic things that every human being should have access to. Food and shelter are two of those," Dávila says. "With this fundraiser, the Food Bank of Western Massachusetts gives me the opportunity to work towards providing one of those locally, right in the community that I live and work in."
This year, the event raised an impressive total of $70,000. Hampshire's team alone raised $2,414, thanks to support from family, friends, colleagues, and Hampshire’s dining service Bon Appétit. Donations are still being accepted on Tour de Hamp’s fundraising page.
"Many of us take our next meal for granted," Tinto says, "and cycling for the Food Bank provided an opportunity to raise resources and awareness to make a difference locally. It was such an incredible experience, and we are already planning for September 2015!"