The goal of Brian’s Banana Bike is simple: getting healthy food- namely, bananas– to the unhoused population of Eugene/Springfield, Oregon, by bike. While bananas were my initial focus, I’ve since teamed up with Burrito Brigade, a fantastic group that I distribute for in Washington-Jefferson Park in Eugene every Sunday; the Banana Bike has transformed into a Bananarito bike! I pay for bananas out of pocket by the carton, but donations are what makes it possible for me to afford doing this more than once a week. You can donate any amount HERE.
This may seem obvious, but bananas are an inexpensive, high energy, healthy food staple. They are easily transported (both by me and the people they’re being given to), they keep for a long period of time (depending on ripeness upon purchase), and they are virtually waste-free, since the peel is biodegradable. They are also easy to eat regardless of an individual’s dental situation. For a person who is unhoused, obtaining food is a full-time job, and doesn’t usually result in the healthiest options being ingested. Fresh fruit is something many of us take for granted, and in my experience of getting bananas to people, they really appreciate a healthful boost.
Why by bike?
Well, this is Eugene. But, a lot of the discussion on homelessness in the area focuses on the presence of people in the downtown, though a lot of them can be found along the bike paths that snake through the city, particularly Alton Baker Park and other public spaces in the immediate outskirts. My cargo trailer can haul a couple hundred pounds, which, translated to bananas by weight- is a lot of food!
Why give to those who are homeless?
This can be a loaded and politically charged question, especially in the Eugene area where it’s estimated that 3,000 people live without shelter on any given night, but for my personal intent and purpose, it’s simply a way to use my time in a manner that helps people in need. There doesn’t need to be a political angle- it’s just an idea I got one day and it’s easy for me to implement, so I’m running (er, riding) with it. For more details, feel free to check the About page and the Blog.
Why give through me?
Through this site, I show exactly where the donations are going. There’s no middle man here- I’m the whole operation, and it’s simple: a bunch of people give me a couple of bucks, and when I have enough to buy a load of bananas, I load them on my bike and give them away to people who are in need of food. If it happens that I can’t distribute an entire load to individuals, the excess will go to an outreach group such as Food Not Bombs or other outreach groups in the area (however, that is yet to happen; every time I’ve gone out with a load of bananas, I’m able to distribute the entire thing). You feel good for donating, I have a worthwhile way to spend my time, and hungry folks get a decent snack. You can donate any amount HERE, or by clicking on the tab above.