If a picture is worth a thousand words this one is yet another example of how Share Our Strength has and continues to transform the restaurant industry and larger culinary world in the service of our No Kid Hungry campaign.
I took the photo Saturday night in the kitchen of one of our favorite restaurants called Earth at Hidden Pond in Kennebunkport, Maine. Chef Justin Walker will be riding Chefs Cycle this year for the third time. He opened his restaurant Saturday, a few weeks before the season begins, for this special event to raise money for his ride. It was completely sold out and earlier in the day we saw his wife Danielle in town driving a pick-up truck around town picking up extra chairs so they could squeeze in a few more guests.
“I spend so much time on my bike because I know it is helping to feed more kids,” Justin told the guests. Maine’s long frigid winters mean a short training season for the May 16-18 ride in California. So Justin keeps two bikes and a trainer in the kitchen on which he can mount his bike while supervising his team and sometimes even prepping food himself. A Chef Cycle rider’s gotta do what a Chefs Cycle rider’s gotta do.
Justin will be one of nearly 250 chefs riding this May in Santa Rosa. Next year there will no doubt be closer to 400 riders. Already Chefs Cycle has attracted thousands of new first-time donors. Bringing a larger audience to our work is one of our key strategic imperatives. It’s the way movements grow, pictures change, and social progress advances. Not always as quickly as we’d like, but as unmistakably as a kitchen that once contained pots, pans, sinks, trays and now houses a couple of world class road bikes.