Jay Johnson’s muscles were burning. He was tired and soaked from the pouring rain. But he pushed forward, trekking through each stretch of the grueling three-day, 300-mile Chefs Cycle with one goal in mind: to help end childhood hunger through No Kid Hungry.
For the third consecutive year, Jay, an Arby’s franchisee with FX4, joined the Arby’s fundraising team, the “Meat Pedalers” during Chefs Cycle. The 13 Meat Pedalers were among nearly 300 members from the culinary community who rode together to raise $1.6 million — translating to 16 million meals — in support of No Kid Hungry. That accomplishment is significant for Jay due to his personal battle with childhood hunger.
“When I was younger, there weren’t programs like No Kid Hungry,” Jay said. “So I remember days when I would go to school without having anything for breakfast. And I wouldn’t want to be there because I was hungry and my stomach was growling.”
Today, No Kid Hungry is one of America’s premiere child hunger relief programs, offering students breakfast, after-school meals and meals during the summer at schools and community centers. The initiative also offers cooking classes and food education for parents.
“Teachers and principals have shared testimonials on the benefits they’re seeing from kids who aren’t going to school hungry,” Jay said. “They’ve seen less trips to the principal’s office, higher attendance rates and improved test scores. These numbers prove this program is working, and it’s what keeps us coming back to Chefs Cycle every year.”
Since 2011, the Arby’s Foundation has a given more than $25 million to supporting No Kid Hungry’s work to end childhood hunger in America. To join the fight against childhood hunger, donate to the Arby’s Meat Pedalers here.