It is often overlooked, but hunger is one of the leading causes of chronic disease, disability, and death in the United States. One in every five kids in Florida do not know where their next meal will come from. There are over 3,000 chronically hungry children in Glades and Hendry County alone. This past weekend, the Annual Pan-Florida Challenge for Hungry Kids sent bike riders out on an epic 200-mile bicycling adventure from Naples to Lake Placid and back, in order to raise money needed to provide meals to hungry children all over South Florida. Riders raised money through pledges and donations, 100 percent of which goes directly to feed hungry kids. To date, this program has provided four million meals!
On Sunday, just North of the LaBelle Bridge, I ran into Donna Hull and Cathy Perry handing out drinks and snacks to these amazing bicyclists, as they passed through LaBelle. They told me that the Pan-Florida Challenge ride helps to provide much needed food for Operation Back-Pack, a local, grassroots organization that feeds hundreds of hungry children right here in our own small community. If you’d like to learn more and help put an end to hunger right here in our own backyards, Operation Back Pack is always in need of donations and volunteers.