Conscious Alliance Reaches 2 Million Meal Milestone

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Influential musicians and chefs help nonprofit stage record-breaking year in fighting hunger.

The Conscious Alliance Food Sovereignty and Youth Empowerment Center on Pine Ridge Reservation.

The Conscious Alliance Food Sovereignty and Youth Empowerment Center on Pine Ridge Reservation.

2015 was an incredible year for Conscious Alliance. Our strong partnerships within the music, art, natural food and restaurant world allowed us to strengthen our approach and increase our impact within the communities we serve.

Combining music and art with raising funds, food donations and consciousness proved a winning score for Conscious Alliance this year. The Boulder-based nonprofit achieved an impressive menu of positive milestones in 2015, collecting and distributing over 200,000 meals of donated food this year. Donors – including the likes of The Grateful Dead, Electric Forest Festival and countless individuals, helped the organization commit more than $1 million worth of goods and services to projects directly assisting the communities it serves.    

Most noteworthy is the fact this small but mighty nonprofit surpassed its 2 million meals mark in May. The 501(c)(3) nonprofit, host of food drives at concerts and festivals nationwide since 2002, partnered with top musicians such as Dave Matthews Band, STS9, The String Cheese Incident, Big Gigantic, Widespread Panic and Nahko, among others in 2015 to achieve this milestone.

Record-high food donations stocked the shelves full at Conscious Alliance’s new 800-square-foot food bank on the Pine Ridge Reservation, opened in August. The majority of the food donations were given by natural and organic product brands.

This year marked the launch of Conscious Alliance’s “Bring Nutrition Home” weekend backpack program at Loneman School, also on Pine Ridge – one of the nation’s most economically isolated communities, with 91 percent of the population living below the federal poverty line and one grocery store for an area roughly the size of Connecticut.

“2015 was an incredible year for Conscious Alliance. Our strong partnerships within the music, art, natural food and restaurant world allowed us to strengthen our approach and increase our impact within the communities we serve,” said Justin Levy, Executive Director for Conscious Alliance. “We are very lucky to have such an amazing team and widely reaching networks supporting the mission and vision of the organization.”

Conscious Alliance’s unique, musically tied approach to emergency food relief and youth empowerment has inspired both influential musicians and chefs to support the organization’s mission.

“After working with Conscious Alliance for the past 10 years, I finally had the opportunity to visit Pine Ridge to help distribute 600 holiday meals and supplies for the backpack program,” said Jeremy Salken of Big Gigantic. “It was an incredibly eye opening experience; life is far from easy there, but the people are so strong and resilient. The programs instituted by Conscious Alliance are helping the community in so many ways through feeding and empowering them. It was such a blessing to be part of the team for this last delivery and is an experience that will stay with me forever.”

In 2016, Conscious Alliance looks forward to continued partnerships with both music and food industry power players, including leading health food brands Justin’s, Plum Organics, Suja, Annie’s Homegrown and WhiteWave Foods, as well as Elliott Toan, owner of Arcana restaurant, opening in Boulder in January.

“Ever since I met Justin Levy at Warren Wilson College in 2004, Conscious Alliance has been one of the best parts of my life,” said Toan. “My volunteer experience with hunger relief through Conscious Alliance was my first step into the food world. Food brings together community, and I cannot wait to see the ways in which we at Arcana can continue to build this path with Conscious Alliance.”

About Conscious Alliance:
Conscious Alliance, a national 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, supports communities in crisis. Based in Boulder, Colo., Conscious Alliance operates through a three-tier approach: emergency food relief to communities across the United States, empowerment programs for youth in impoverished regions of the country, and nutrition, exercise and gardening education for youth in economically isolated Native American reservations. Conscious Alliance operates ongoing grassroots food collection and hunger awareness programsby organizing food drives at concerts and music events. The donations collected benefit local food pantries nationwide and economically isolated Native American reservations. Conscious Alliance works with myriad companies and organizations to further its mission of providing life changing and life enhancing programs to the communities they serve.

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Emily Smith
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