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Combine bicycles, healthy food advocates and a passion for health equity and you get the third annual Food Rescue Ride — the Aug. 19 noncompetitive bicycle event in Cherry Creek State Park.
The fundraiser supports Denver Food Rescue, a nonprofit that collects whole fresh produce from local grocery stores and retailers and redistributes it to low-income communities via bicycle.
Friends, families and community members can sign up for the ride as individuals or teams and can choose to ride either 15 or 30 miles. For an extra challenge, bring a bike trailer and complete the ride towing 100 pounds of gardening supplies — all of which will be donated to local school gardens.
All proceeds support the nonprofit’s operational budget, which funds the nonprofit’s No Cost Grocery Programs, said Amy Moore-Shipley, development and marketing coordinator for Denver Food Rescue.
In addition to alleviating food deserts in underserved communities, the grocery programs reflect the unique needs and desires of each neighborhood by appointing community members to direct their own programs. When possible, programs are paired with relevant cooking and nutrition classes that help communities become more self-sufficient and healthy.
Visit foodrescueride.org to sign up and register or attend an event from 6-8 p.m. June 29 at Ratio Beerworks, 2920 Larimer St. in Denver, to have the $30 sign-up fee waived. Another opportunity to earn free registration takes place July 13 at evo, a Denver recreation gear and apparel shop at 860 Broadway.
Whether on a team or riding solo, all individuals are expected to raise a minimum of $200.
“Denver Food Rescue is a very lean and efficient organization,” executive director Turner Wyatt said. “For every dollar contributed to Food Rescue Ride, DFR provides more than $4 worth of healthy groceries to a low-income family.”
In 2016, the ride attracted about 100 people and raised $27,000. This year, Denver Food Rescue hopes to double its 2016 rider count and hit a fundraising goal of $40,000. Part of this target, Moore-Shipley said, is to engage a fresh crop of participants who are new to the organization’s mission.
Participants who don’t own a bike can rent one on site for under $20.
“We know there are many ride options in and around Denver,” Moore-Shipley said, “but we hope to use this time to build community and give people a chance to fundraise and advocate for a cause they really believe in.”
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