Meals on Wheels turns 60 this year and to celebrate, their hosting the first annual Alley Cat Bike Race to raise money to continue their mission of providing free meals to those in need. Community Relations Director for Meals on Wheels, Michael Nortman, stopped by “Bridge Street” to talk about the bike race as well as the impact Meals on Wheels has had on the community.
Since its inception, the Syracuse Meals on Wheels has delivered well over a million meals to community members. As a non-profit organization, Meals on Wheels hosts numerous fundraising events throughout the year, with their newest coming up on July 20.
An Alley Cat bike race is different from a typical bike race, according to Nortman, and this race in particular will have a Meals on Wheels twist added to it. Each participant with get a bag of “meals”—which are just empty milk cartons—and each meal will have a location written on it. The bikers will deliver their “meals” to each place and receive a stamp on their route sheet.
Racers can choose which order to deliver their meals in but everyone will start and finish at Melo Velo Bike Shop and Café.
Nortman says that an event like this it a great way to promote Meals on Wheels, both to people who may need their services and others who may be able to donate or volunteer their time to the organization.
For anyone looking to get involved with Meals on Wheels, Nortman stressed how easy it is. Drivers are needed to deliver meals 11 a.m.-1 p.m. Monday through Friday and for anyone who works during the day, it only takes about the time of your lunch break to deliver all of the meals on your assigned route.
Volunteers for Meals on Wheels not only deliver food but are able to make connections with the people they deliver to. “That daily contact is as important as the daily meals we provide,” Nortman said.
The Meals on Wheels Alley Cat bike race is on Saturday July 20 from 11am to 2pm at Melo Velo Bike Shop and Café. Registration is $25 for individuals and $100 for a group of five. Participants are required to wear a helmet and numerous prizes are available for everything from fastest rider to slowest rider.
To register, you can visit Meals.org.