Cranksgiving Tops Last Year

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Last Saturday, the second annual Chambana Cranksgiving
collected 888 pounds of food for Eastern Illinois Food
Bank. 34 riders (and several others who didn’t participate
in the event, but donated food) crisscrossed Champaign
and Urbana, visiting local grocery stores and purchasing
non-perishable food items.
The weather and amount of food collected were far
superior to last year’s event, even if competing with a
home Illinois football game meant a small decline in attendance.
Sunshine and highs in the 60s meant that those
that came out had about as pleasant riding conditions as
you could ask for on a mid-November day.
”When we first started to plan this year’s Cranksgiving,
we were a bit disheartened to hear the calculation from
The Eastern Illinois Foodbank that estimates that local
hungry families’ need for food has increased 30 percent
from last year,” said event organizers Luke Thompson and
Pieta Horvath Thompson. “However, our cyclists, sponsors,
and donors certainly stepped up to the challenge,
and hauled 888 pounds of nonperishable food across the
finish line—more than 30 percent above last year’s total of
613 pounds.”
Riders traveled to supermarkets in three zones of
Champaign-Urbana, traveling an average of 15 miles total,
and picking up different courses of a Thanksgiving meal,
from corn to boxed potatoes, canned turkey to cranberry
sauce. Participants were awarded prizes provided by the
event’s sponsors based on their point total, which was calculated
through a combination of how many food items
they collected, plus bonuses for things like time and accumulating
an entire Thanksgiving spread.
Local sponsors this year included Common Ground
Food Co-op, Strawberry Fields, Schnucks, Pekara, Sandella’s
Flatbread Cafe, Noodles, The Pita Pit, El Duke
Degreaser, and That’s Rentertainment; more national sponsors
included Wald, Burro Bags, Urban Velo, and Yanco
Cranksgiving food drives happen around this time of
year in cities like Des Moines, New York City, Chicago,
Ann Arbor, and Omaha, benefiting social service organizations
in those communities.
Thanks to Charlie Smyth for providing the photos.

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