HUDSON -- Hudson resident and former teacher Dee White is planning to go the distance for kids facing food insecurity -- 1,600 miles, in total.

On Aug. 1, White set off on a bike tour through Wisconsin, Michigan, Indiana and Illinois, following a trail around Lake Michigan, to raise money for Second Harvest Heartland as well as other food banks in the states she’s riding through.

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“My main goal is just to continue to educate people about food insecurities and the impact it has on kids,” she said. “I’ve been in education for 30 years, so obviously I’m passionate about children. In a developed country like the United States there’s no reason our kids shouldn’t have access to meals.”

Following an injury three years ago and multiple foot surgeries, White began bicycling to get back into shape. With her retirement in June, she decided it would be a good time to plan an adventure. As she was preparing, though, she decided to make it into something more.

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“I thought this is silly, I can do this for myself or I can do this to benefit others,” she said.

She’s working with River Valley Charities to make that possible. Donations can be made at White is also being sponsored by Art Doyle’s Spokes and Pedal, Thread Connected Content and Solo Yoga and Boxing.

As a former teacher and president of Valley Outreach, White said she saw what happened when students did not have access to adequate nutrition.

“What that did to impact their learning and their ability to focus and their behavior,” she said.

The coronavirus pandemic has exacerbated that need, she added.

White began training on an indoor bike in January, and moved to outdoor rides in May, logging 80 to 120 miles per week.

On the trek, White said she’ll be riding between 40 to 80 miles per day.

White left Hudson on Saturday 1 with a socially distanced ceremony at Lakefront Park. Her biking group Roll MOdels rode with her out of town.

She’s planning the trip will take five weeks.

Follow along with her trip at the Powered by the Need to Feed Facebook page or on Instagram at needtofeed365.