OMAHA, NE (July 21, 2014)—Benjamin Rasmus, Rotary First Harvest program director, and Heather Hoffman, community activist, will bike 3,500+ miles this summer from Seattle, Washington to Washington D.C. calling attention to hunger, food waste and gleaning in America. Join Omaha and Lincoln area food security organizations in welcoming Benjamin and Heather to Omaha. The Omaha Bike Against Hunger event will be held on Friday, August 1st at Miller’s Landing at 5:00 pm. Local organizations will be present to share the work they do to combat hunger and food waste. The event will also celebrate Benjamin and Heather’s their ride thus far and their dedication to fighting hunger.
More than 130 billion pounds of food goes to waste annually inthe United States. Nearly half of this waste is from crops that go unused dueto cosmetic damage or market saturation. Simultaneously, nearly 50 million Americans are hungry and lack reliable access to food–particularly fresh fruitsand vegetables. Gleaning, the collection of surplus fruits and vegetables for those in need, can play a critical role in solving this problem. Rotary First Harvest (RFH), a Seattle-based nonprofit with 30+ years of experience, is leading the charge to develop sustainable produce recovery projects, with their AmeriCorps*VISTA gleaning projects in Washington and California.
Gleaning is an ancient practice, but hasemerged as a modern method to engage local communities in the fight against hungerand food waste. Produce recovery projects are growing in number and popularity, however, few gleaning groups communicate, partner or share best practices with each other. The goal of Bike Against Hunger is to highlight the gleaning movement and create a sense of comradery between these projects nationally. In addition, the ride will emphasize what RFH’s national partners, AmeriCorps and Rotary International, are doing to attack hunger and reduce food waste.
Benjamin and Heather will depart Seattle on June 18 and plan to arrive in DC on August 27. Along the route they will stop at farms, food banks, nonprofits and service clubs to talk and learn about the paradox of food waste and hunger. Major stops along the ride include Portland, Boise, Denver, Omaha, Iowa City, Chicago, Cleveland, Pittsburg and Washington DC. Events will be heldin these locations with Rotary Clubs, AmeriCorps projects, gleaning groups and other nonprofits to promote gleaning as one solution to the problems of hunger and food waste.
To learn more about Rotary First Harvest and Bike Against Hunger, please visit their respective websites: www.firstharvest.org and http://firstharvest.org/harvest-against-hunger/bike-ride/ . To learn more about the Omaha Bike Against Hunger event, please contact Ali Loker, 608-332-1592, firstname.lastname@example.org or Craig Howell, 402-669-9315, email@example.com