Extra Table prepares for 2nd annual ‘Farm to Fork Ride or Run’ on April 30

Registration hits half-full mark months before event
Half the field already is filled for Extra Table's second annual "Farm to Fork Ride or Run."
Published: Jan. 6, 2022 at 5:12 PM CST
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PINE BELT, Miss. (WDAM) - Runners and bikers, get ready to grab your shoes and helmets this April 30.

Extra Table is preparing for its second annual Farm to Fork Ride or Run, benefiting food pantries all across the state.

Extra Table Executive Director Martha Allen says the fundraising goal this year is to feed Mississippi for a month, by fully funding 55 food pantries and soup kitchens across the state.

“When we talk about events and activities at Extra Table, we want everyone to really understand the meaning, it’s not just another fundraising party,” Allen said. “At Extra Table, we like to talk in meals. And when we talk in meals, we want to talk about months and what it takes to feed the State of Mississippi for a month.”

“So the Farm to Fork Ride or Run, we hope to raise $60,000 and feed the State of Mississippi for a month. So, literally, this event feeds people. Your participation puts meals on tables for hungry families in Mississippi.”

Allen says there are lots of different bike and racecourses for every athlete’s level. Six events will be going on at the same time.

“The bike rides go all throughout the county roads,” Allen said. “They are beautiful, there’s a 30-, 40- and a 62-mile ride. And then there is a 5-K and a 10-K and a half marathon distance on the trace.

“And I know it’s the trace and we are used to running that, but we’ll be adding a lot of spicy fun elements out there and be celebrating a few birthdays along the way.”

Even if not a runner or biker, Extra Table will need lots of volunteers on the event day if you want to donate your time.

“You don’t have to be an athlete to participate in this day,” Allen said. “We need volunteers of every type. If you’re good at helping get cars parked, we need your services. If you’re a good, warm face to be at the help table, we can educate you on the answers to those questions.

“We need help with everything from icing down Coca-Cola to flipping hamburgers. So come on out and help us on April 30.”

It’s not going to be all hard work on the trails, though, with a treat at the end for everyone who participates.

“Meet us at the finish line for the finish line party at the Barn at Bridlewood,” Allen said. “It’ll be fun activities and events and some libations, as well as some really good food. We’re really excited about being able to share good food with so many hungry Mississippians.

Extra Table had adopted five new pantries into its network this year and is also committing $250 more dollars a month to each of their partners, up from last year.

Allen said that Extra Table is able to buy items wholesale with restaurant connections, so $250 goes a long way in getting food pantries and soup kitchens the staples they need.

“So $250 is probably closer to $650 or $700 of food, so now we will be shipping those Extra Table dollars worth of food to our food pantries and soup kitchens and that is a huge full pallet of food,” Allen said. “And that is just so exciting to think about the food we provide our pantries typically is the items that they don’t receive a lot in donations so that expensive and hard to get tuna and peanut butter.

“Our food pantries love the soups and the rice and the beans and those things that are our constant staples.”

The race has about 1,000 slots for participants between the six courses, and as of the first week of January, 550 people are already signed up to participate.

You can sign up, donate, or learn how to volunteer here.

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