Cranktivus food drive and bike ride will benefit Central Pantry

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The fourth annual Cranktivus food drive will send participating cyclists on a kind of scavenger hunt on Saturday to pull together a meal for donation to Central Pantry.

Kicking off at noon at Walt's Bike Shop, attendees will be given a grocery list and sent to five grocery stores to collect items for meal donation to the pantry, which is part of Food Bank for Central and Northeast Missouri.

The list includes ham, potatoes, apple sauce, green beans and dessert. The food is then distributed as complete meals to different families who visit Central Pantry throughout December.

When event founder Beth Shepard started Cranktivus four years ago, the event drew less than 20 riders, she said. Attendance has grown each year. Fifty riders are currently registered for the food drive.

"I have holiday music on my bike. I dress in a funny Christmas suit, and we make it a big ordeal," Shepard said. She modeled the annual bike ride after a similar event, Cranksgiving.

Participants are asked to bring a bike, bag, bike lock and $20 to buy food. Registration is free.

The route is approximately 15 miles, and all levels of bike riders are encouraged to attend.

Supervising editor is Taylor Blatchford.

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