SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Monte’s March, an annual march against hunger through the Pioneer Valley, began Monday morning in Springfield.
Radio host Monte Belmonte from 93.9 The River leads the 43 mile, two-day march each year from Springfield to Greenfield. Along the way, Belmonte will push a shopping cart; urging listeners make donations to The Food Bank of Western Massachusetts.
“I think many people in our listening area are feeling down after the election,” Belmonte said. “Some are feeling helpless. This march is an opportunity for people to do something — to put one foot in front of the other, to raise some money, to rally around some of the most vulnerable members of our community, and do real work raising money that will translate into putting real food onto the tables of the more than 200,000 people in the four counties of Western Mass who are experiencing hunger.”
Congressman Jim McGovern (D-Worcester) and The Food Bank of Western Massachusetts’s Executive Director Andrew Morehouse are also making the march from Springfield to Greenfield.
“Today I’m proud to join so many braving the cold for the seventh annual Monte’s March to fight hunger in Western Massachusetts,” McGovern said. “As families prepare for Thanksgiving, we know that many are struggling to put food on the table.”
Congressmen Richard Neal (D-Springfield) and Joe Kennedy III (D-Brookline), State Rep. Aaron Vega (D-Holyoke), State Rep-elect Solomon Goldstein-Rose (D-Amherst), and students and community leaders from around western Massachusetts are also scheduled to take part in portions of the march.
“Many people are one paycheck away from not knowing where there next meal comes from, but there’s a stigma that’s associated with that. So if we can try to take some of the stigma upon ourselves by wearing weird clothes and walking in the cold and pushing shopping carts that have been hot rodded out by the kids at Smith Vocational, then lets do it and raise some good money for the food bank,” said Belmonte.
In 2015, Monte’s March raised $150,000 for The Food Bank. Since 2010, the march has raised about $393,000; providing more than one million meals to people in western Massachusetts.
Those wishing to make a donation to The Food Bank can call 888-323-4673 or donate online by clicking here.