On Saturday, November 22, Hamptonite and Today host Matt Lauer will participate in the inaugural bicycle-based food drive “Hamptons Cranksgiving.” Riders will stop at four local grocery stores where they will purchase non-perishable foods to be donated to the East Hampton Food Pantry.
Lauer is participating in the East Hampton leg of the ride, and will be accompanied by NBC cameras, which will document the event to air on Today next week.
The event is presented by local real estate firm Saunders & Associates as part of a national effort to end hunger.
In total, participating cyclists will ride 6 miles along a low key, pre-arranged route. Charitable riders can spend any amount of money at the four grocery stores, purchasing items from a list of much-needed foods. Although this is not a race and participants have no minimum or maximum requirement of donated items, the first person to return to the finish line with all the listed items and accompanying receipts will be declared the “winner.”
Part bike ride, part food drive, part scavenger hunt on two wheels, Cranksgiving has been held annually in New York City since 1999. The idea to bring the event to the Hamptons was spearheaded by East Hampton native and Saunders & Associates agent, Eddie Lopez.
“When Eddie brought this fantastic idea to us, we embraced it enthusiastically,” Saunders & Associates president Andrew Saunders said. “Thanksgiving has always been a cherished holiday for my family and the Saunders & Associates family. This year, we felt we needed to honor the holiday by helping the Hamptons community give back to those less fortunate on the East End,” Saunders continued, adding, “We couldn’t think of a better way to do that than by joining forces with the East Hampton Food Pantry and sponsoring a Cranksgiving of our own.”
This year, the East Hampton Food Pantry plans to feed more than 31,000 people in Amagansett, East Hampton, Montauk, Springs and Wainscott. The Cranksgiving ride will contribute to this effort.
There is no entry fee for the event, and all food items collected will be donated to the East Hampton Food Pantry. A bicycle, helmet and a small backpack are required to ride. Free gifts will be provided to the first 50 participants who register at 10 a.m. on Saturday. The ride begins at 11 a.m., kicking off at East Hampton Middle School (76 Newtown Lane) in the Village of East Hampton.
The footage captured by NBC cameras will air on Today on Monday, November 24.
Interested riders can learn more information by visiting: hamptonscranksgiving.com.