Franklin Food Bank’s annual Tour de Franklin Charity Bike Ride is traditionally held in April and is one of the first bike rides of the season. This year is no exception, with the Tour scheduled for Sunday, April 29, 2018 in Somerset, NJ. This year marks the Tour’s 29th year, and it has grown into a community tradition. Every April, the event kicks off the riding season for many avid cyclists, signals Spring for the Franklin community, and provides an opportunity for everyone to help neighbors and fight local hunger.
For the third year in a row, the Tour de Franklin will be held at Franklin High School at 500 Elizabeth Avenue in Somerset. The day consists of seven different rides, including the Metric Century Ride, the 40-mile ride, the 25-Mile Ride, a 10-Mile Ride, a 1- to 5-Mile neighborhood walk/ride and two rides along Franklin Township’s scenic D&R Canal, offering something for everyone. Ride start times are staggered throughout the morning with riders returning to the High School for a community lunch at the end of their ride. T-shirts are guaranteed to all participants who register by April 2nd, and special t-shirts will be awarded to Silver Riders who raise over $150 and Gold Riders who raise over $300. There are trophies given to the school that has the most participants and the team that raises the most money. The fee to participate is $45, full-time students are $20, and $10 for children 12 years old and younger. Rates increase after April 2nd so take advantage of the early bird registration.
New this year is the Spin de Tour. For those who can’t make the traditional Tour de Franklin or if you want to get in an extra ride, join the Food Bank at Crunch Fitness at 960 Easton Avenue (Rutgers Plaza Shopping Center) at 11:30 AM. Seating is limited so register early.
The Tour de Franklin is the Franklin Food Bank’s largest fundraiser and a critical part of the Food Bank’s financial support. Last year almost 800 participants helped raise almost $80,000 for the Food Bank. This is a substantial increase from the Tour’s humble beginnings in 1989 when 30 riders helped to raise $1,500. However, the Food Bank’s needs are also far greater than they were in 1989. In 2017, the Food Bank processed over 1.3 million pounds of food in the Millstone Road warehouse feeding over 1800 Franklin Township families in need. While $80,000 sounds like a lot, it is really just a small part of the Food Bank’s annual budget.
The Franklin Food Bank is a private 501c3 non-denominational organization. Their mission is to provide food assistance to Franklin Township residents in need in an atmosphere of dignity and respect.
To learn more about the Franklin Food Bank or the Tour de Franklin, please visit the Food Bank’s website – www.FranklinFoodBank.org. Don’t forget to like the Franklin Food Bank and the Tour de Franklin on Facebook.