Looking for adventure, Harley group makes massive food run

Looking for adventure, Harley group makes massive food run

Looking for adventure, Harley group makes massive food run
Mt. Diablo Bikers, from left, Amber Heard, Tice Clark, Kelly Clark, and David Lexar joined over 30 other motorcycle club members in buying groceries at Grocery Outlet on Ygnacio Valley Road and donating them to the Salvation Army Food Bank Saturday.

CONCORD, CA (Nov. 7, 2022) — They got their motors running and headed out on the highway. Then they stopped, bought food and took it to the Concord Salvation Army Food Bank.

More than 30 members of the Mount Diablo Harley Owners Group purchased food with their own money at the Grocery Outlet on Ygnacio Valley Road on Nov. 5 and delivered it under gray skies to the food bank on Clayton Road.

The sound of “heavy metal thunder” could be heard for several seconds before the motorcycles appeared in the Grocery Outlet parking lot. They dismounted and headed in to do their shopping, working from prepared lists. The riders paid retail prices for the food, but store operator Darrell Smith and management contributed $350 of their own funds to the effort.

Riders’ garb ranged from stylish leather to beat-up jeans jackets and vests, all with the Mount Diablo group’s logo. Their biker outfits certainly set them apart from the other Saturday morning shoppers.

They delivered the food to the Salvation Army by motorcycle and members’ trucks, making an impressive showing in the facility’s storage area. Food bank director Mike O’Reilly and the Harley riders group estimated the food haul at up to 8,000 pounds, a noticeable increase over the amount delivered during the food drive last year.

O’Reilly kept thanking the bikers personally for the donation, telling them it was “a godsend.”

Holiday cheer

The food, mostly staples and other canned goods, will be divided up into food boxes to be handed out to food bank patrons at Thanksgiving and Christmas. Additional amounts will be distributed during regular pickup days. He estimated that the roughly four tons of food would help about 600 families.

The food bank does not require membership in the Salvation Army Church, in the front part of the food bank property, nor enrollment in Alcoholics Anonymous or any other organizations to be eligible for food parcels, O’Reilly said.

Before cruising to the Grocery Outlet, riders assembled at McGuire Harley Davidson in Pacheco, which sponsors the group. Members get involved with multiple fund-raising and community service activities during the year, said Rhonda Lovato, the group’s assistant director. The riders also travel as a group on rides of varying lengths, including trips to Pacific Grove on the Monterey Peninsula.

Norm Hallquist
Norm Hallquist

Norm Hallquist earned his bachelor's degree in journalism from Cal.  He has returned to his first love following interim careers as a U.S. Navy officer and as a workers' compensation lawyer.  He lives in Concord.