Sunday, April 30, 2017

The 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 30, 2017, in Somerset, NJ.  This year is the Tour de Franklin’s 28th 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 second year in a row, the Tour de Franklin will be held at the Franklin High School at 500 Elizabeth Ave in Somerset. The day will consist of seven different rides, including the 62-mile, 40-mile, 25-mile, 10-mile, 1-to-5-mile walk or ride, and a 5-mile and 10-mile ride along Somerset’s scenic 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 for all participants who register by April 7, and special T-shirts will be awarded to Silver Riders who raise over $150 and Gold Riders who raise over $300.

The Tour de Franklin is the Franklin Food Bank’s largest fundraiser and a critical part of the Food Bank’s financial support. 2016 was a record year, with 775 riders coming together in one day to raise over $78,000 for the Food Bank.  This is a substantial increase from the Tour’s humble beginnings in 1989 when 30 riders banded together to raise $1,500.  However, the Food Bank’s needs are also far greater than in 1989, with almost 10,000 food packages provided to the community in 2016. While the $78,000 raised by the Tour de Franklin sounds like a lot, it is a small part of the Food Bank’s annual budget.

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