By Cecilia Fox
For Miami Valley Today
TROY — After the Tour de Donut dust settles and the cyclists head out of town, thousands of uneaten donuts and other snacks are left behind and they’re not going to waste.
The Troy Rec collects boxes of donuts, cases of fruit, and coolers full of yogurt and milk for distribution to local organizations like the St. Patrick Soup Kitchen and the Needy Basket food pantry.
“There are thousands of donuts leftover, but there’s also milk and there is yogurt and some fruit. So we try to find places that can use those items so it doesn’t go to waste,” said Troy Rec Director Kelly Snyder said.
Last year the Rec collected 190 boxes of glazed donuts (or 4,560 donuts), 13 boxes of specialty donuts (about 780 donuts), six cases of apples, four cases of bananas, 13 coolers of yogurt and four coolers of milk. The snacks were distributed to nine organizations and agencies, including a men’s transitional housing organization in Dayton.
The Tour de Donut bicycle race moved to Troy in 2017 from Arcanum and draws thousands of cyclists every year, who eat donuts at several stops along the route to reduce their overall ride time.
“The first year was a little chaotic because we didn’t know what to expect,” Snyder said. The following year, the Rec served as a pick-up point for leftovers instead of delivering food to all of the different organizations. “We didn’t know what we were getting into. We ended up trying to deliver to people and we were like, ‘This just does not work.’”
Snyder said the Rec is part of a food insecurity committee, which gives staff a good idea of local agencies that would be willing to come pick up food leftover from the race. Before the Tour de Donut, Snyder reaches out to agencies that might be interested to let them know when to come by.
Some of those agencies have included New Path, First Place Food Pantry, Lincoln Community Center, Family Abuse Shelter and Troy Senior Citizens Center.
“We share them with our kids here at the Rec too,” she added. Since 1941, the Troy Rec has provided a space for teens to hang out. Many of the students who spend time at the Rec, like the Troy Rec Community Helpers, volunteer to help out with the distribution of the leftovers.
The leftover donuts and snacks are gathered up after the race ends and brought to the Rec, where Rec staff and volunteers sort them out for pick up. For a few hours after the race, the Rec is a hub of activity, with volunteers carrying boxes of food from the center out to waiting cars and trucks.
“Obviously, donuts aren’t the most healthy food, but we have fruit and yogurt left over, and the milk,” she said. Snyder added that, if there are any other area agencies or groups that are interested in being on the contact list for race leftovers, reach out to the Rec at (937) 339-1923.