Local radio personality gears up for Monte’s March X

  • Christopher “Monte” Belmonte, center, pushes his cart while walking with others during the two-day Monte’s March to support hungry families in Western Massachusetts. STAFF FILE PHOTO

Staff Writer
Published: 11/22/2019 6:04:08 PM
Modified: 11/22/2019 6:03:55 PM

Another year has passed, and it’s time for Christopher “Monte” Belmonte to hit the pavement with others who join him each year to fight hunger throughout the region.

For the 10th consecutive year, the radio personality at WRSI The River will push a shopping cart while leading marchers, including U.S. Rep Jim McGovern, on Monte’s March X: March for a Million Meals.

The annual two-day, three-county, 43-mile hike from Springfield to Greenfield will happen Monday and Tuesday, and all of the money raised benefits the Food Bank of Western Massachusetts and the people it feeds.

Last year, Belmonte raised more than $294,720, bringing the total raised since 2010 to more than $1 million. The $294,720 provided the equivalent of 884,160 meals.

“The Food Bank is incredibly thankful to Monte and all who have supported him and us,” Food Bank of Western Massachusetts Communications and Engagement Officer Lillian Baulding said. “We encourage people to keep supporting, because for every dollar donated, three healthy meals are provided to your neighbors.”

Over the years, Belmonte has marched through wind, rain, snow and freezing cold temperatures, but it has never stopped him. When he reached Bank Row in Greenfield last year, Belmonte said he and others were sore. But he said it was all worth it because, “If we can provide some real help ... it’s a real joy to do so.”

Belmonte marches for two days dressed in costume while urging listeners on the air to call in with donations to the Food Bank, whose mission is “to feed our neighbors in need and lead the community to end hunger.” Last year, he dressed as a pirate the first day and an alien the second.

There are several ways to get involved in Monte’s March, including marching along with him from any point to any point along the route or donating by phone, mail, online or by the new text-to-give platform in which you text “donate” to 413-287-8500.

To donate to the Food Bank of Western Massachusetts, call 888-323-HOPE (4673) or visit: foodbankwma.org. To donate by mail, send a check to: The Food Bank of Western Massachusetts, P. O. Box 160, Hatfield, MA 01038.

Reach Anita Fritz at 413-772-0261, ext. 269 or afritz@recorder.com.

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