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Grassroots Effort Helps Stock Adel Food Pantry

ADEL, Iowa  --  What started as a simple event on Facebook turned into a food drive that supplied one community pantry with hundreds of items.

“Even in our own community, there are kids who go hungry.  We decided, what can we do to help?” said Mike Austin.

It's grassroots activism at its finest.  Austin and his wife organized a bike ride in which participants could ride for free if they donated food to the Adel Food Pantry.

“Bikers are typically very helpful people, so I knew it would go over well,” said Austin.

If you think the ride was an easy one, think again. Cyclists taking part signed up for a 62-mile trek, mostly on gravel roads.  Still, the number of riders who joined in might have taken Austin by surprise.  On the Facebook event page, Austin admitted he didn't know if they'd get three people or 300.  It was closer to the latter with hundreds of Iowans coming out in support.

“It feels good, it feels good, it's one of those things, you know? I recently moved to Des Moines and one of the things that was really fun about moving here was being part of a community and actually being in a position of service. So it’s fun to be out here in the sunshine, kinda the first good day to ride, and help out a good cause,” said Ron Monson.

The Adel Food Pantry goes through about 4,000 items every month, which makes events like these extremely important.

“We always say hunger knows no season. We all eat 12 months a year, all of us. So we need the food all the time because we have people come in all the time,” said pantry manager Celia McCollum.

With food pantries usually getting more donations around the holiday season, McCollum says seeing this much food flowing into their stock was fantastic.

“It's awesome, it's just awesome, this community has been so wonderful to this pantry, we just can’t say enough for the outpour to us knowing this is a need,” said McCollum.

The ride also included around 3,000 feet of elevation changes.