Donate Food and Take Ride On Bus For Free

A free trip will be provided to riders who donate food from Sunday, April 11 through Saturday, April 17. Food collected through the drive goes toManna Food Center, which feeds 3,000 hungry families a month.

“Especially in these times of economic hardship, more people are in need of food than is collected through Ride On’s ‘Give and Ride’ program,” said Montgomery County Executive Isiah Leggett.

“Give and Ride is a wonderful opportunity for bus riders to conveniently help other Montgomery County residents who are going hungry and for the County to recognize the donors’ generosity. It’s also a great way to show our community spirit by giving and sharing.”

For 20 years, Ride On collected food at Thanksgiving. However, food donation centers tend to receive more food than they can store during the winter holiday season.

So two years ago, Manna Food Center, the non-profit organization that distributes Ride On’s food contributions, asked Ride On to change the time of its food drive to the Spring.

“Once again, we are proud to partner with Ride On,” said Kim Damion, director of Development and Communications for Manna Food Center. “Manna is seeing a record number of people turning to Manna for help feeding their families. We look forward to a very successful ‘Give and Ride’ collection this year and appreciate Ride On’s help in keeping our shelves stocked in a time of great need. We want to thank all the drivers and riders of Ride On for their support in this 23rd year.”

During the Give and Ride promotion, food collection bags will be placed near the fare boxes on all Ride On buses. Riders using free shuttles and other transit services can participate by bringing their donations to a Ride On bus. In addition to non-perishable food, children’s items are also needed. Disposable diapers, formula, baby or toddler food and juice are especially useful to families in need. Plastic containers are preferred.

“We ask our riders to donate generously to this year’s food drive,” said Carolyn Biggins, general manager of Ride On. “There are area families who are truly hungry, and this is one way our riders and our staff can help.”

All food donations, regardless of the number of cans, will be valued at the regular fare rate of $1.45. Passengers who transfer buses will need an additional food donation to ride free on the second bus.

Riders who wish to buy a Regional One-Day pass will need to add $1.75 to the fare box. Residents who do not ride the bus but wish to donate food can participate by giving their donations to a bus operator at any Ride On bus stop. Checks made out to Manna Food Center will also be accepted.

Writing in “Ride On” on the “For” or “Memo” line in the lower left corner of a check will make it easier to track the success of the program.

For bus stop locations or bus schedules, call the County’s Transit Information Center at 240-777-7433; TDD/TTY 240-777-5869. Route and timetable information is also available on Ride On’s web site, then click on “Ride On.” SmarTrip® and passes can be purchased online.

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