Biker returns to Gateway after 6,000 mile national ‘Ride Against Hunger’

You’ll find out what sparked his unique pledge drive, where his journey took him – and how you can still contribute to his cause – right here …

Robert Hastings rolls in to the Portland Adventist Community Services Center in Gateway after completing his “road trip” to fight hunger.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton
A 23-state ride around the nation by Robert Hastings started right here in the Pacific Northwest on July 27 – and ended in East Portland’s Gateway district, at Portland Adventist Community Services (PACS) Center, on August 20.

“I’ve called it a ‘Ride For Hunger’,” Hastings told us, as he dismounted his trusty 2008 Kawasaki Vulcan 900 motorcycle.

As a former board member of PACS, Hastings said he’d been looking for ideas to help struggling families, as the economy worsened. “When I found out my daughter, Taylor, would be baptized on August 15 in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, it sparked the idea of a motorcycle road trip that could help raise funds for PACS.”

Greeted by well-wishers and PACS volunteers and staff members, Robert Hastings is about to put down his kickstand for the last time – at least, on this trip.

Hastings covered all his own traveling costs, and printed 1,000 brochures to promote the fundraiser. During the trip, he blogged almost daily about his adventures, and posted several pictures from the road. See his entries at:

“It was a beautiful ride,” Hastings said. “It was a great faith-building experience for me, as well as for those who been praying for me along the way. The best part was seeing my daughter being baptized in Oshkosh, Wisconsin.”

So far, the trip has raised at least $5,500 in pledges and cash donations for needy families at the PACS Food Pantry and PACS Family Health Clinic. More funds are still coming in.

Here’s a map of Hastings’ journey.

Facts about PACS
PACS (Portland Adventist Community Services) runs the busiest emergency food site in Oregon Food Bank’s network of pantries, according to Center Director Brian Vistaunet. “Last year 73,369 people received food from PACS, and this year the numbers have increased 10% compared with the same period last year.”

The PACS Family Health Clinic provides primary care to uninsured patients. It is especially important to individuals who need a regular doctor to monitor problems like diabetes, hypertension, and coronary artery disease.

To learn more, or to volunteer, or contribute to PACS, visit their website: CLICK HERE.

Hastings says he’s happy to be standing up, after a very long motorcycle journey, as he enjoys a bowl of ice cream.

© 2009 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News

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