Not just another ‘blokes on a bikes’ gig!
When Foodbank held its first Hunger Ride in 2018, the organisation was feeding 140,000 Victorians a month. Cue the pandemic, bushfires, floods, and the worst cost of living crisis in two decades and it’s now feeding 100,000 every two days.
That’s why Tour de France yellow jersey winner Simon Gerrans is set to lead 27 cyclists on the ride of their lives up Mt Buffalo on November 19 to help raise urgently needed funds for food relief.
Gerrans, along with SBS Tour de France commentator Matt Keenan, and executives from big-hearted Victorian businesses, has been motivated by what’s happening in this state.
“You don’t ride 184 kms with 21kms of that grinding up Mt Buffalo unless you’ve got a fire in your belly,” says Gerrans. “When 365,000 Victorian kids are living in homes where there’s not enough food, those kms aren’t so tough knowing you’re raising money to feed them.”
Foodbank CEO Dave McNamara knows the riders are feeling a heightened sense of urgency. “Victorians are going through such a tough time, and having these businesses pushing themselves on their behalf, is going to help expand our capacity to relieve some of that pressure. They’re inspirational, really.”
Major sponsor Bennelong Funds Management is involved once again with global CEO Craig Bingham more passionate than ever about why the ride is not just another date in the calendar. Bingham, who is also the Chair of Cycling Australia, has been hands on from the start, working with Foodbank on every aspect from planning to saddling up for the gruelling event course.
“Foodbank has set a challenge for the seven teams to raise 32,000 meals each” explains Bingham. “We know their colleagues are right behind them, but any extra help from the wider community is going to pump up the volume Foodbank can deliver. If every cyclist in Victoria donated just $1 to any of our riders, we’d raise over four million meals for people in need…which would be incredible.”