Stow resident Mark Roberts is making a difference. He just completed the amazing feat of rolling his wheelchair across Massachusetts to raise $100,000 to help address pandemic hunger. We caught up with Mark when he was just getting started to learn more about his mission. Below is what he had to say.
“In February, I decided to take action to do something about pandemic hunger that was affecting Massachusetts, the United States, and the world. So, I came up with this crazy idea to roll across Massachusetts in my electric wheelchair with my super cute dog Mocha. We started in Canaan, New York, a half mile outside the New York/Massachusetts border in West Stockbridge. And we're making our way across to Holyoke, Chicopee in Springfield, to Worcester, to Boston, down the South Shore, to Provincetown.
"The whole trip is around 320 miles. It doesn't matter if it's raining or sunny. We've been caught in torrential downpours and beautiful weather. We roll six days a week, one day a week I come home and have an infusion, which I need to keep my symptoms at bay. I just have this rare neurologic condition.
“The walk is actually supporting the four major Massachusetts food banks: The Greater Boston Food Bank, the Merrimack Valley Food Bank, the Worcester County Food Bank, and the Western Mass Food Bank. And it's also going to Save the Children [[which is]] doing work throughout the United States and throughout the world to help alleviate the impact of the pandemic on children.
“The reception we've gotten is remarkable. The number of cars that beep and wave and toot and people running by and they have heard of what we're doing [is amazing].
“Mocha loves this. There are new smells, new things every day, and we've been in consultation with his vet throughout this because we had to come up with a training protocol. He's got little orange booties in case he hurts his feet. He's got a poncho if it rains. He's got a cart if he needs to be pulled.”
You can still donate to Mark’s mission through his website 4Hunger.org, or you can reach out to food banks in your area to help feed the hungry this season.