Wilton chef will bike 300 miles to end childhood hunger

Schoolhouse at Cannondale chef and owner Tim LaBant will participate in a three-day, 300-mile bicycle ride in Santa Rosa, Calif., May 16-18, to help fight childhood hunger in America.

The event is the 2017 Chefs Cycle for No Kid Hungry, which raises money and awareness in support of No Kid Hungry — a campaign sponsored by the nonprofit organization Share Our Strength — that connects children in need with nutritious food and teaches their families how to cook healthy, affordable meals.

After seeing social media posts about chefs who participated in last year’s Chefs Cycle, LaBant said, he decided to participate this year.

“As a chef and cyclist with four kids, I thought it was a perfect fit,” said LaBant, who has been biking his “whole life.”

“I used to live across the street from Allen’s Meadow, which used to have a BMX track 30 years ago,” he said. “There would be races there on a weekly basis, and I used to race BMX there.”

He also got into mountain biking in high school and triathlons in college.

LaBant said he rides “a lot year-round,” and is preparing for the Chefs Cycle by “just getting on the road.”

“There’s a lot of training involved to comfortably ride 300 miles in three days,” he said.

While training is important, said LaBant, he’s been more focused on “getting the word out about No Kid Hungry and making an impact.”

While reading up on childhood hunger in the United States, LaBant said, one thing really stood out to him: One in five kids in the United States doesn’t know where the next meal is coming from.

“That statistic is the one that really got me to want to participate,” he said.

“I just couldn’t imagine, as a chef and father, having a child who doesn’t know where their next meal is coming from. Being hungry makes everything hard — focusing in school and doing other things you have to do.”

In addition to spreading the word about No Kid Hungry to family, friends and Schoolhouse at Cannondale customers, LaBant said, he’s also cooked for people in exchange for donations to the charity.

When it comes to the Chefs Cycle, LaBant said, he’s most looking forward to helping in the effort to end childhood hunger, and also “getting together with a group of peers who are passionate about the same things.”

LaBant’s goal is to raise $15,000 for Chefs Cycle. As of Monday, April 10, he had raised $12,505.

“One hundred percent of the money raised will go to the charity, and every dollar that’s raised will be going to buy, like, 10 meals for kids,” said LaBant.

“I hope No Kid Hungry connects with people and that they go online and donate.”

To donate and help LaBant reach his fund-raising goal, visit http://bit.ly/2oFmS9z, or mail contributions, made payable to Share Our Strength, to Share Our Strength, Attention Alexandra Kong and Tim LaBant, 1030 15th Street NW, Suite 1100W, Washington DC 20005.

Information: chefscycle.org.