Congrats to Food Riders of OCC for being honored as an outstanding team of volunteers!
Team Name: Food Riders of OCC
Nominating Organization: Share Our Selves Community Health Center
Honoree Category: Human & Community
Why Nominated: For four years, the OCC Food Riders have been delivering excess food from the Orange Coast College cafeteria to the Share Our Selves food pantry. Twice a week, rain or shine, these cycling enthusiasts mount up with up to 300 pounds of food in their custom coolers for the three hour trek. Club President Yousef Elgohary calls it “the best thing I do, week in and week out.”
Carl Morgan, who founded the club with a student and is currently its faculty advisor, says it started with the idea that extra food from the cafeteria shouldn’t go into a landfill, but to families in need. As a devoted cyclist looking for a way to use his hobby to make a positive difference, he decided to deliver food by bicycle to avoid polluting the air.
When the club started Morgan wasn’t sure they would have enough food for one monthly delivery, but he says the cafeteria has been extremely generous and within three weeks he was able to schedule two weekly deliveries. The Riders have even started scheduling canned food drives so that they can continue deliveries over schools breaks.
Two times a week, a group of anywhere from three to 10 people meet up for the three hour ride. They even have extra bikes for those who want to join but do not have their own. All of their equipment, from the bikes to the trailer pulling the food and the custom painted coolers, has come from donations. Morgan says they are trying to keep all their costs down and keep things simple. Elgohary has bigger plans in mind. He wants to spread awareness of what they are doing so that eventually there are “food riders across California” keeping food from going to waste. If he can find more people with his level of energy, he is sure to succeed. You can find more information about the OCC Food Riders Club on their Facebook page, http://www.facebook.com/occfoodriders. We at SOS are honored to recognize the Food Riders of OCC for their commitment to addressing hunger in our community.
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