Jewish Family and Children’s Services of Northern New Jersey will host its 13th annual Ride to Fight Hunger on Sunday, June 11. The goal of the ride — which is held in and around Spectra Labs in Rockleigh — is to help raise money so JFCS can continue to offer essential social and mental health services to the northern New Jersey community.
The Ride to Fight Hunger was started 13 years ago to help the critical problem of food insecurity. It since has grown to support mental health, older adult, and food-insecurity services as well as basic needs assistance. Those are the four pillars of service that JFCS supplies to thousands of individuals and families each year.
“The Corner Market was a lifesaver for my family,” a parent said. “JFCS provided us with food when we had financial troubles and times were tough. I thank everyone from the receptionist to the kind people who brought those generous packages to my car with welcoming smiles. Such kind acts make a difference.”
The day is more than just a bike ride (though that is where the focus lies, with 50-, 25-, 10-, and 3-mile bike routes available). It also includes a guided hike, food and beverages, and fun activities for the whole family. The entertainment includes a magician for the children.
Last year JFCS had a goal of raising $200,000 through the ride, which it achieved; this year JFCS hopes to raise $225,000 so it can continue to deliver its much-needed services to the community, despite the rising costs of providing those services.
A day like this displays the power of community, with everyone coming together to support a worthy cause. JFCS has dozens of corporate sponsors and hundreds of families, friends, colleagues, and loved ones who donate to the day, and participate in it. It is even a great opportunity for mitzvah projects for young teens — there are three bar and bat mitzvahs being celebrated at the ride this year, with the children raising awareness and fundraising as their mitzvah projects.
The need for JFCS’s services is greater than ever. On average, it serves 120 new clients every month. More children are coming for mental health treatment, more families are having emergency financial crises, and more adult children approach JFS to help with their aging parents.
For information about donating or to register for the June 11 program, go to RideToFightHunger.com or call (201) 837-9090.