(Courtesy of JFCS NNJ) On June 12, Jewish Family and Children’s Services of Northern New Jersey (JFCS) will be hosting their 12th annual Wheels-for-Meals: Ride to Fight Hunger. The purpose of this charity bike ride event is to raise money for JFCS to continue offering essential social services to the Northern New Jersey community. The Ride to Fight Hunger was started 12 years ago to help battle one critical problem—food insecurity. It has since grown to support all four of JFCS’s pillars of service: mental health services, older adult services, food insecurity services, and basic needs assistance. JFCS provides these services to thousands of individuals and families each year, and it is through events like the Ride to Fight Hunger that it can continue to do so.
As one parent said regarding the JFCS Food Pantry, “I do my best to provide for my young children, but I never seem to be able to make ends meet. I was able to confidentially apply for assistance at the Corner Market Food Pantry. Because of the supplemental food and grocery items from JFCS, my paycheck goes so much further. My children are now fed, clothed and safe.”
The event is more than just a bike ride (though that is where the focus lies, with 50-, 25-, 10- and 3-mile bike routes as well as bike lessons available)—there is also a guided hike, food and beverages and fun activities for the whole family (including a magician for the kids!). The event this year is being held in and around Spectra Labs, located in Rockleigh, New Jersey. Last year JFCS had a goal of raising $180,000 through the event, which it achieved. This year they hope to top that total so they can continue delivering their much-needed services to those who need them.
An event like this displays the power of community—everyone coming together to support a worthy cause. JFCS has over 40 corporate sponsors and hundreds of families, friends, colleagues and loved ones who donate to and participate in this event. It is even a great opportunity for mitzvah projects for young teens—there are four bar and bat mitzvahs being celebrated this year at the ride, with kids raising awareness and fundraising as their mitzvah project.
“It was such a wonderful way for Zachary to have fun with his friends and family while helping people in need,” said proud mother Nava Krohn of last year’s ride. “JFCS took care of every detail to make it a perfect morning for Zachary.”
The need for JFCS’s services is greater than ever—their Corner Market Food Pantry alone has seen an over 840% increase in the households it serves compared to just a few years ago. Across the board, the agency has seen their intake calls increase close to 140%, with the demand continuing to rise. Events like the Ride to Fight Hunger are integral to JFCS’s ability to provide essential services to the Northern New Jersey community.
If you would like to learn more about, donate to or register for JFCS’s Wheels-for-Meals: Ride to Fight Hunger, you can visit their site: RideToFightHunger.com or call 201-837-9090.