Paying it Forward – A Scavenger Hunt by Bicycle to Aid the Burlington, Vermont Food Pantry

BY Lisa Friedman

On November 22, 2015 I participated in ‘Cranksgiving’ which was a bicycle scavenger hunt to purchase items for the Burlington food pantry. Sixty four of us collected 1,209 pounds of food, including 37 turkeys. This is a large increase compared to the inaugural event in 2008 which yielded 227 pounds and 2 turkeys. We averaged a donation of 18 pounds of food per person.

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At the beginning of the ride, we were all given a list of items to purchase at the nine locations on the route. The ride was a total of approximately twenty miles with stops at specific stores en route. At the end of the ride, we needed to show our receipts to prove that we hit all of the locations in the proper order.

We carried food in backpacks, bike rack packs, paniers, bike baskets and the little trailers that people pull their children behind their bikes on.

At the end of the ride, prizes were given based on time and amount of food collected. The higher the weight of food that one donated, the more time that was taken off of your timed score. The person with the lowest time won. One person actually had a faster time, however because another person had donated one more pound of food than he did, he actually won by a few seconds.

(The winners at the apres-race party at Manhattan Pizza)

This was a very fun and healthy way to bring awareness to all. I will definitely participate in this ride again. Thank you to Old Spokes Home for taking such an active role in organizing this event.

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