‘Monte’ marching Monday for Western Mass. food bank

The Recorder, November 17, 2017, by Andy Castillo

SUNDERLAND — Radio personality Christopher “Monte” Belmonte will once again embark on his annual march against hunger up the Pioneer Valley, starting Monday and making a lunch stop Tuesday afternoon at Bridgeside Grill on Route 116.

“This year, beginning on Monday, Nov. 20, he’ll walk 43 miles over the course of two days, from Springfield to Greenfield, pushing a shopping cart while on the air and urging listeners to call in with donations to The Food Bank of Western Massachusetts,” a press release announces.

Listeners can tune into WRSI 93.9 The River to hear Belmonte’s live broadcast. Donations can be made by calling 888-323-4673, visiting, or dropping items into Belmonte’s shopping cart.

All proceeds raised will directly support the regional food bank. Last year, Belmonte’s trek raised $183,400 by the time the march reached its end in Greenfield — above the $150,000 goal initially set.

Officials anticipated to join Belmonte this year are U.S. Rep. Jim McGovern; food bank Executive Director Andrew Morehouse; Chicopee Mayor Richard Kos; Northampton Mayor David Narkewicz; U.S. Rep. Joe Kennedy III; and Greenfield Mayor William Martin.

“Listeners, religious leaders, musicians and more,” are also expected to join Belmonte for sections of the walk.

“Monte’s March,” as it’s known, is scheduled to step off from the Martin Luther King Jr. Community Center in Springfield at 7 a.m. Monday, stopping for a special fundraising dinner at the Union Station Ballroom in Northampton that night.

Elsewhere in Hampshire County, the march will stop at McGovern’s Northampton District Office on Pleasant Street in Northampton, and the Amherst Survival Center on Sunderland Road.

Then in Franklin County, Belmonte will stop for lunch in Bridgeside Grill at noon Tuesday, and Berkshire Brewing Company near South Deerfield’s village center at 2 p.m., ending at Magpie Woodfired Pizzeria on Bank Row in Greenfield by around 6 p.m.

“Since Monte’s March began in 2010, the event has raised nearly $600,000 for The Food Bank, providing approximately 1,800,000 meals to our neighbors in need. With this year’s event expecting to surpass the $200,000 fundraising mark for the second consecutive year,” the statement continues.

Conway Grammar’s plans

At the Conway Grammar School, students there have been collecting food and monetary donations benefiting the food bank for a little while now. Their efforts will culminate Tuesday in a schoolwide march honoring Monte’s March against hunger.

For more information on Monte’s March, call Belmonte at 413-586-7400, or email