Monday, January 21, 2019

Attendees at last year’s JFCS Wheels for Meals bike ride. (Credit: JFCS)

Excited Wheels for Meals contributors. (Credit: JFCS)

JFCS Wheels For Meals shirt. (Credit: JFCS)

The Jewish Family & Children’s Services of Northern New Jersey (JFCS) is excitedly preparing for its upcoming bike ride fundraiser event. Taking place this year on Sunday, June 17, Father’s Day, at the Jewish Home at Rockleigh, the event will raise funds for Meals On Wheels and will culminate with a barbecue and family-friendly games and activities. The event will offer various route lengths, enabling riders of all abilities to participate.

JFCS, a not-for-profit organization that provides social services and support for families and children in need, prides itself on creating a stronger community by addressing life’s challenges.

JFCS Head of Marketing and Communications Deborah Glasser elaborated on the organization’s objectives and various programs.“Our mission is to strengthen and enhance the wellbeing of those who need our help,” Glasser shared. “We provide a service that is backed by our compassionate and professional staff who are dedicated to building more unified communities and family ties. Some of the programs we run include individual and family counseling, care management for senior citizens, after-school programs and much more.”

Dubbed Wheels For Meals: The Ride To Fight Hunger, the bike-ride event is expected to draw a crowd of a few hundred participants. The various route options include 50, 25, 10 and 3 miles, all of which circle back to the Jewish Home at Rockleigh. Kicking off with check-in at 6:30 a.m. for the riders choosing the longest route, the event’s final check-in will occur at 10:30 a.m. for the 3-mile option. There will also be a hike option available for those who are interested.

“There’s something here for everyone,” Glasser continued. “If you’re a more serious biker you can do the 50-mile route, but if you have small children and want a more relaxed ride, there’s certainly options with the shorter routes. It’s a great way to kick off Father’s Day with the family.”

According to the JFCS website, the primary goal of the ride is to raise awareness and support for Meals On Wheels, a program that delivers meals to individuals dealing with situations that restrict their ability to make or prepare meals. With an increasing number of people requiring their services, JFCS contributors are hopeful that the bike ride will raise enough money to enable them to continue to help as many people as possible.

“Now serving over 40,000 meals each year in Bergen and Passaic counties, JFCS volunteers deliver meals to homebound seniors, providing both nutritional sustenance and human social contact,” the site explains. “This incredible program is funded through the monies raised in this annual event. The JFCS food pantries, now located in both Teaneck and Fair Lawn, see increased demand for food assistance week in and week out. Currently serving over 3,000 individuals each year, the food pantries provide nutritional support for families in our communities for whom this service is critical.”

Website registration for the bike ride is currently open and will remain open until Friday, June 14. Latecomers can also register in person on the morning of the ride. There is a $50 registration fee and $180 minimum required to be raised. There is also an option for family registration, which is $250 and covers parents and up to three children; for this option there is no minimum fundraising amount required. Those riders who raise over $750 will receive a free cycling jersey. If you are interested in registering or learning more, visit http://www.ridetofighthunger.com/.

By Adam Samuel

 Adam Samuel is a journalist from Teaneck. He blogs at adamssoapbox.com.