GSF helps kids with bikes

Published 9:16 pm Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Nyimah Smith learns bicycle safety tips from a Chesapeake Police officer during the Golden State Foods Foundation’s Build-A-Bike event on Saturday. More than 100 children from the Chesapeake Boys and Girls Club, including Smith, assembled their own bicycles as part of the GSF Foundation’s commitment to help needy children and families in the communities in which GSF associates live and work.

About 100 elementary school-aged children from the Chesapeake Boys and Girls Club, Truitt Unit, got to experience the satisfaction of building their own new bikes during a Build-A-Bike event hosted by the GSF Foundation recently at the Chesapeake Square Chick-fil-A restaurant.

Associates from Suffolk’s Golden State Foods, one of the largest diversified food processors and distributors in the United States, worked with the children as they assembled their own new bikes, an activity that helped give them a sense of purpose and a renewed belief in themselves.

When each child was done with his or her bicycle, a representative from SCAT Bike Shop performed a safety check and tuned up the bikes. Students were given helmets and locks, and were trained in bicycle safety and riding rules by the Chesapeake Police Department.

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All students “test drove” their new bikes before they were packed up and delivered back to the Chesapeake Boys and Girls Club.

“We are proud to reward the exemplary behavior of the children at Chesapeake Boys and Girls Club and help instill pride in a job well done,” said Pete Del Giorno, facility manager at GSF Suffolk. “This event would not have been possible without the support of our partners including Grafik Trenz, Penske Truck Leasing and 465 Box. We are grateful for their contributions.”

By the end of the year, the GSF Foundation will have donated more than 500 new bicycles to children across the country.

Established in 2002, the GSF Foundation is a non-profit organization with 26 regional chapters throughout the country. It seeks to help needy children and their families through volunteer efforts and financial contributions in the areas where Golden State Foods associates live and work.

As many as 80 percent of the Golden State Foods associates support the GSF Foundation through personal involvement and contributions. To date, the GSF Foundation has raised more than $22 million for more than 350 children’s charities.

For more information about the GSF Foundation and its programs, visit