Foodbank's Backpack program bolstered by bicyclists

Third annual fundraiser for Foodbank's program

POSTED: 05:42 PM MDT Jul 27, 2013    UPDATED: 05:51 PM MDT Jul 27, 2013 
POCATELLO, Idaho -

Crossing the finish line to cheers is always a good feeling, but it's even better when you've just finished helping your community.

Bicyclists in Pocatello got the chance to ride for a good cause today. Competitors are helping hungry kids right here in southeast Idaho.

"It's sad to know there's kids that don't get food throughout the weekend,” said Bobbie Webster, who rode 50 miles today. “Supporting something like this is amazing. It's a great cause."

Webster jumped - on her bike - at the opportunity to help the Idaho Foodbank provide food for kids on the weekend. It's called the Backpack Program.

"We're looking to grow the program all the time,” said Joseph Meyer, the Idaho Foodbank's warehouse manager. “It is a very expensive program. Each one of those backpacks that we send out ends up costing the Foodbank $6.50."

The Foodbank sends out about 600 backpacks each week during the school year. Even with the Foodbank's ability to buy in bulk at a lower price, it still costs about $4,000 a week.

Competitors chose from three start times, paying anywhere from $10 to $40  for the ride.

The riders got to choose the length of their course, the longest course being 50 miles, taking them to McCammon and back.

Webster said you don't need to be a professional athlete to compete. She says you can make it as easy or as hard as you want.

"You can pick your routes to include hills or no hills,” she said. “So really I think it's a great sport for anybody because you can really make it what you want it to be."

But crossing the finish line after helping hungry kids in your area would make anyone feel like a winner.

Of those 600 backpacks of food, 300 of those go to children in the Pocatello/Chubbuck School District.

The Foodbank says they can take donations at any time. For more information on the Backpack Program, as well as how to help the Foodbank in other ways, go to the Idaho Foodbank's website: http://www.idahofoodbank.org.