Hopkins Key Club Joins Monte’s March


Brooke Rochon

Every November for the past 13 years, radio personality from WRSI- 93.9 The River, Monte Belmonte has led his annual Monte’s March to raise money to help to provide meals for those who are experiencing food insecurity and are at risk of hunger. During the march, Monte is broadcasting on the radio station and listeners can follow along. 

When Monte started the march 13 years ago, it was just him and an empty shopping cart trying to raise $5,000 but it has now turned into an annual event that so much of the community gets involved in, including U.S. Rep. Jim McGovern. The goal for this year’s march was to raise $500,000 for the Food Bank of Western Massachusetts, which is equal to two million meals or 5,500 meals every day for a year.

The march is split between two days, totaling 43 miles overall. The first day of the march begins in Springfield and ends in Northampton, where it will pick up again the following day to travel from Northampton to Greenfield. The entire way Monte pushes an empty shopping cart as a metaphor for hunger symbolizes the food insecurity some people have to go through. 

The march this year was only a short while after the second White House Conference on Food, Nutrition, and Health that was held back in September in Washington, D.C., which Belmonte and McGovern attended. The first conference occurred in 1969, but it seems as though important strides have been made as Congress is making efforts to end hunger in the US by 2030, only 8 years away. Although it is important that Congress is making this a goal a priority, it is important that we all pitch in and do what we can, which is why many members of the Hopkins Academy Key Club marched on the second day of the march.

This was the second year many members participated in the march and it seems like it’ll continue to be an annual event for the Key Club. The club marches 23 miles from Hopkins to the end of the route in Greenfield.  It is a great experience for each Key Club member as it demonstrates the difference one person can make, first Monte’s creation of the march, and then each Key Club member that participates in the march, joining him in making a difference to end hunger. Our overall goal, as a club, was to raise $2,000, and $2,885 was raised this year.