Family cycling across Canada to raise funds for global hunger arrives in Winnipeg

Tuesday, July 2, 2019


The Schmidt family is hoping to raise $60,000 through sponsorship of their trip cycling across Canada, at $10 per kilometer cycled. All of the money raised will be used to help the Foodgrains Bank and their member agencies respond to the challenges of ending global hunger around the world.

A family from Abbotsford, B.C. spending their summer cycling from Abbotsford to Nova Scotia arrives in Winnipeg today.

“I’ve always loved cycling. I don’t know how it started, but from when I was a young kid, I had this dream of cycling across Canada,” says Orlando Schmidt, 56, of Abbotsford, British Columbia.

For a number of years, Orlando’s dream sat on the backburner due to life and family circumstances.

However, the dream never fully left him.

“I started talking about doing a family cycling trip when our youngest son, Nathan, was out of high school. The family embraced the idea and we’ve been talking about this trip and planning it for about ten years.”

Orlando is cycling together with his children Raquel, Jayden, and Nathan and son-in-law Caleb. Orlando’s wife Vivian and daughter-in-law Kaitlyn are driving a support vehicle.

The family is midway on their journey, which started June 8. In total, they will cycle 6,000 km from Abbotsford, B.C. all the way through to Nova Scotia and the Atlantic Ocean.

But it’s more than just a fulfillment of a dream for Orlando. It’s also an opportunity to raise money and awareness about a cause close to his heart—helping people around the world who are hungry, and he encourages people in Canada to support the work of Canadian Foodgrains Bank.

“I have had a strong interest in caring for the needs of hungry people since the early 1980s,” says Orlando. “As a young adult, I was deeply touched by media coverage of the famine in Ethiopia and decided to pursue a career in agriculture as a result.” He and Vivian volunteered with Mennonite Central Committee agriculture and education programs in Brazil in the 1990s.

The family is hoping to raise $60,000 through sponsorship of their trip, at $10 per kilometer cycled. All of the money raised will be used to help the Foodgrains Bank and their member agencies respond to the challenges of ending global hunger around the world. While cycling across the country, the family also hopes to encourage Canadians to be engaged in the issues around global hunger.

Despite his enthusiasm, the trip doesn’t come without potential challenges.

“The logistics are overwhelming at times. A few of us have some knee and back injuries that may limit us. We would appreciate prayers for health and safety along the way.”

The Schmidts will meet with Foodgrains Bank supporters at the Niverville Heritage Centre at 6 p.m. on Thursday, July 4. Anyone interested in learning more about the family’s journey or about global hunger is invited to attend.

To sponsor a kilometer of the Schmidt’s trip or to follow along with their progress, visit www.foodgrainsbank.ca/cycling

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Date: Tuesday, July 2, 2019
Time: 1 p.m.
Location: Canadian Foodgrains Bank office at 393 Portage Avenue (Fourth floor of Portage Place mall). Use office elevators for access to fourth floor or call 204.979.4873

The Schmidt family of Abbotsford, B.C. is biking across Canada to raise awareness and funds about hunger around the world. They will arrive in Winnipeg on Tuesday, July 2 and media are invited to meet them at 1pm.

There will be opportunity to shoot the family together on their bikes, and they will be available for interviews. For additional details, please contact Amanda Thorsteinsson, Foodgrains Bank Communications Coordinator at 204.979.4873 or Shaylyn McMahon, Communications Officer at 204.471.9195