November 22, 2017
 
Three Squares New England Raises $500K via Annual Ride

October 23, 2017 — Three Squares New England, a nonprofit based in Dedham that is a cooperative of hunger-relief agencies that seeks to raise awareness and funds for local food pantries, kitchens, community farms, and food rescue organizations, recently announced that it raised $500,000 through its annual Ride For Food.

The event, which, drew 350 riders, met its fundraising goal, raising eight percent more than last year's $465,000.

Kati Sigel, executive director of Three Squares New England, attributed the event's success "to the motivation of each rider and hunger-relief organization who want to give back to the community and do something that feels good physically."

Seventy-five volunteers supported the annual ride, along with a record number of sponsors, which included Direct Federal, Whole Foods Market, Bitsight, and Noble and Greenough.

Eighteen teams participated in the Sept. 24 ride, which included a 10-mile course suited to recreational riders, a 25-mile course for intermediate riders, and a 50-mile ride for experienced riders.

Each rider was encouraged to raise $1,000, but was not required to raise any set amount; many riders exceeded this goal.

Since its inception, the Ride for Food has raised more than $1.7 million for more than 20 hunger relief partners, who annually donate 4,000,000 pounds of food to 250,000 individuals in eastern Massachusetts, with help from 11,000 volunteers.

The first Ride for Food in 2012, 65 riders raised $35,000 for the Dedham Food Pantry. That amount increased to $123,000 the following year, supporting hunger initiatives in Cambridge, Dedham, Jamaica Plain, Natick, Needham, Wellesley, and Westwood.

The 2014 Ride for Food raised $210,000 for 11 area organizations, and in 2015 raised funds to support 14 area organizations.

According to Three Squares New England, about one in 10 Massachusetts residents are at risk of hunger, one-third of them being children. This past summer, the organization hosted its second annual Ultimate Food Rescue Challenge, which highlighted actions people can take to reduce food insecurity in the country by re-purposing healthy food that would otherwise be thrown out.

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