GREENFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – A local radio personality made his way across western Massachusetts to raise awareness about food insecurity and in the process raised more than $600,000.
The host of 93.9 The River’s, Monte Belmonte, wrapped up his 43-mile march from Springfield to Greenfield. It’s the march of masks as he calls it with fewer marchers but his march and fight to feed the hungry carried on.
In total, $614,577 was raised to help fight food insecurity during the ongoing pandemic. Step by step, Belmonte walked 43-miles across western Massachusetts in under 48 hours.
Annually, Belmonte broadcasted on the air during his walk while pushing a shopping cart with many others following and showing support by helping to raise funds for the Food Bank of Western Massachusetts.
With the current pandemic, his march looked different in 2020 with masks and fewer people participating. In its 11th year, his march has even more importance with so many people struggling with COVID-19 to address that greater need, his goal was to raise $365,000 which provides 4,000 meals per day.
“All the food pantries I’ve talked to have said the amount of food they are giving out has doubled if not more than doubled because of what COVID has done to the economy. So if we can do that and provide 4,000 meals a day for all of 2021, hopefully, 2021 can feel more hopeful than 2020 did.
It isn’t just in western Massachusetts food insecurity has been the topic of discussion for lawmakers statewide.
He said, “We know that 38 percent of Massachusetts is going to experience food insecurity this year and if there is anything we can do to stop that such as marching to raise money then that’s an easy thing to do.”
Belmonte’s march wrapped up at the Greenfield Common at 6 p.m.
If you would like to donate, visit Monte’s March 11: The Masked March.