SOMERSET, NJ - The Tour de Franklin Charity Bike Ride is a spring tradition in Somerset, NJ, as avid cyclists, and the community join together in late April to fight local hunger.
All funds raised support the Franklin Food Bank, and the Tour de Franklin is the Food Bank’s largest annual fundraiser. In previous years, the Tour de Franklin included up to seven rides in one day, bringing together up to 800 cyclists and over 100 volunteers.
Additionally, sponsors donated funds and goods generously, making the Tour de Franklin a critically needed financial success for the Food Bank.
The Tour de Franklin will continue as an important community tradition in 2021 but to maintain safety during the pandemic and to reduce crowding, it will transition from a single-day event to an individual ride on any day of a cyclist’s choosing from April 25 to May 31.
Cyclists may also choose any of the published ride routes or choose a route of their own. In consideration of the difficulties the pandemic brought to many families in the Franklin township area, all registration fees have been waived for 2021.
While the pandemic has reshaped the Tour de Franklin and deeply impacted the daily operations of the Franklin Food Bank, it has not been able to shake the community’s support. Many sponsors, both those returning from previous years and new sponsors, have stepped forward to generously donate to the Tour de Franklin, supporting the Food Bank to reach its fundraising goal of $50,000.
“The amount of community support in this difficult time is incredible. We were not sure if sponsors would embrace an individual event, but their support of the Tour and the Food Bank has been fantastic. We are very grateful for their generosity and it truly helps us reach our critical fundraising goal,” said Lisa Frey, Tour de Franklin Chairperson.
While registration fees have been waived, all cyclists are encouraged to register, as well as fundraise or donate, if they are able. A generous donor is also offering up to $10,000 in matching funds to make donations more impactful. Everyone who registers by April 8 receives a long-sleeve T-shirt listing the sponsors who made it possible to keep alive the very important tradition of fighting hunger.
The Tour de Franklin is in its 32nd year and the Franklin Food Bank has been helping neighbors fight hunger with an atmosphere of dignity and respect for almost 50 years. Both efforts started small, but the Food Bank currently helps almost 2,000 families per year.