We hosted our very first Bikes & Bites event last Friday 7/17/20 and were blown away by the response from our neighborhood, friends, and family! We were expecting about 5-10 people to show up (and that was a generous estimate) but we were astonished to be joined by 18 bikers, as well as a few other B&B members who showed up to offer donations and moral support.
Throughout the week, we sent out supply list needs to our Contributors, Community Captains, and Bikers and had donations pooled at our home and shipped directly to us from family and friends outside of the Twin Cities. The kickoff event was put together at relatively short notice and our community members really stepped up to make it happen. Together, we were able to donate 733 pounds of food and supplies to the Community Emergency Service Food Shelf. These diapers, wipes, toiletries, food items, and more will directly benefit Minneapolis residents most in need.
We had tons of fun meeting everyone and biking together and we are extremely grateful for the support we've received during these first few weeks of operation. Most importantly, this small event served as a reminder of just how much we can give back to our community going forward. So many of you offered extremely valuable advice and feedback to us and we would not have been able to pull off a donation drop of this magnitude without your effort and your enthusiasm. A special thank you to a few family members/friends from outside of the Twin Cities who had large shipments delivered directly to us - the bulk of this supply drop was comprised of their donations.
However, our efforts can't slow here. On Monday, city officials and armed police forcefully removed the remainder of the Powderhorn east encampment. To learn more about the housing crisis in Minneapolis, please check out this post from The Minneapolis Sanctuary Movement:
We encourage you to educate yourself on the homelessness crisis occurring in Minneapolis and we urge you to take action. Contact the City Attorney, City Council, the Minneapolis Park Board, and Mayor Jacob Frey - urge them to ensure no evictions at encampments, drop charges against those who have refused to leave their shelters, repeal the park permit system, reinstate all parks as sanctuaries, and provide transportation support to residents moving to other parks. Urge them to fund/provide dignified shelter and housing - they are capable of offering a better and permanent solution to Minneapolis residents. Housing is a human right. As sanctuaries are forced to dissolve and attempt to re-establish themselves elsewhere, the displaced residents will continue to be in urgent need of food and supplies. We urge you to come together with us as a community to provide aid to Minneapolis residents in need.
We will continue to keep you updated regarding future events and organizations we will be working with/dropping to. Thank you, again, to everyone who contributed, attended, and biked with us at our kickoff event!