LONG BEACH, MS (WLOX) - Two friends from the state of Maine are determined to raise awareness about hunger in America. They're riding motor scooters across the country and plan to visit each of the lower 48 states.
A little light rain didn't seem to bother Dan Emery and Myles Chung on their Honda motor scooters during a Monday stopover in Long Beach. After all, when they launched their journey from the northeast, it was 11 below zero.
"It's been very, very difficult at times," said Dan Emery, sporting a road beard. "But it's just been an amazing experience."
They stay in a tent most of the time and travel with little.
"A couple of saddle bags each, a couple of hiking packs," said Emery, as he pointed to the basic accommodations inside the tent.
And while these travelers on their mopeds tend to attract attention, their aim is expanding minds about hunger.
"Fifty point one million Americans, don't know where their next meal is coming from. And at the same time, we're wasting 40 percent of our food each year. And it costs us $165 billion," said Emery.
In communities they visit, they search out solutions to hunger. Hazard, Kentucky was an eye opener.
"Although it was a very small community, it was very tight knit. And really focused on helping each other out. And that really struck me. People are very generous with each other and all this love is going around," said Chung, recalling the visit to that caring community in the mountains of Kentucky.
Things like community gardens, food banks and soup kitchens each serve a role in the mission to eradicate hunger.
Emery has a particular passion for education.
"So, anything involving schools, and students, those are the programs I really like. The farm to school programs. The community garden or raised garden beds at the schools. Getting the students out in the dirt, teaching them to grow," he said.
Some friends called their journey "a little crazy". But they say if everyone cared just a little, hunger could be greatly reduced or even eliminated.
By the way, the Honda Ruckus motor scooters are great on gas, getting up to 100 miles per gallon. However, the two friends can't get in a hurry, since the top speed is only about 40 miles an hour.