The Food Bank for Central and Northeast Missouri, formerly the Central Missouri Food Bank, recently gained a lot of weight — more than 33 tons.
God’s Wheels, a motorcycle ministry and the official charity of the National Bikers Roundup, collected money and nonperishable food from people and motorcycle clubs during the roundup. The donations to the food bank came in the forms of cash, checks made payable to the food bank and cans and boxes of food.
For every dollar it receives, the food bank can buy 20 pounds of food. Through that formula, and with the additional donation of nonperishables, the Food Bank for Central and Northeast Missouri collected 66,563 pounds of food.
On Saturday evening, the Harley Davidson Motor Co. presented the food bank with a check for $2,500. The presentation, held on the main outdoor stage, was part of a set of live events including music performances and a fashion show.
God’s Wheels has been the official charity of the National Bikers Roundup since 1998. Harry Gumby, the founder and national president of God's Wheels, established the motorcycle ministry four months after leaving his secular motorcycle club.
God's Wheels collects money and goods on behalf of the local food bank in the hosting city of the roundup. Gumby said everything collected, except for some perishable food that was discarded, goes directly to the food bank.
Gumby called God’s Wheels "a good way to feed America," because the roundup travels to a different hosting state every year.
Mike Desantis, a development associate at the Columbia-based food bank, said the organization was present at the roundup every day, transporting that day's collectibles back to the food bank in vans and trucks.
Although the food bank does not serve people food directly, it services 132 agencies and 80 schools throughout 32 counties in central and northeast Missouri, according to its website.
Gumby said donating food for the underprivileged in the local hosting community is important to God's Wheels.
"It's not that we are just coming to take," he said. "We are coming to give."