Conscious Musicians to Combat Summer Hunger Crisis

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Nonprofit hopes to provide 100,000 meals during lowest giving season through ‘Art That Feeds’ Food Drives

Conscious Alliance food drive

Nonprofit Conscious Alliance hopes to provide 100,000 meals during lowest giving season through ‘Art That Feeds’ Food Drives.

“Conscious Alliance is, far and away, the best organizer of food drives at music shows in America. It's something that can be easy to do, but is not easy to do well – and Conscious Alliance does it really well.”

June 25 is exactly six months from the Christmas holiday – and usually represents the lowest period of donations to food banks across the country; the calendar opposite of the traditional holiday giving season. Boulder-based nonprofit Conscious Alliance aims to counteract the summer hunger epidemic once again with a packed schedule of ‘Art That Feeds’ Food Drives during the summer 2016 concert and festival season, working with acts like Phish, STS9 and The String Cheese Incident.

According to Feeding America, during the school year, 22 million children receive free or reduced-priced meals through the National School Lunch Program, compared to only 2.7 million receiving free or reduced-price meals through the USDA Summer Food Service Program.

Because parents need to provide three meals a day during the summer, filling food banks is crucial. According to MarketWatch, half of food bank donations come in during the holiday season, even though the need for food donations is greater during the summer. Unfortunately, summer is the hardest time to collect donations and find volunteers, as church groups, schools and many food drives often go on hiatus during the summer months.

Conscious Alliance will partner with musicians like STS9, Phish and The String Cheese Incident, and festivals including Electric Forest Festival and Lockn’ Festival in summer 2016 to host approximately 30 ‘Art That Feeds’ Food Drives from Memorial Day to Labor Day. Concertgoers can bring 20 nonperishable food items to donate, or a $30 monetary donation, to receive a custom concert poster designed by esteemed artists like Jeff Wood and Phil Lewis. Conscious Alliance hopes to provide 100,000 meals from food drives alone this summer.

“Our ‘Art That Feeds’ Food Drives provide a unique opportunity to highlight the goodwill of artists, musicians and concertgoers,” said Justin Levy, Executive Director for Conscious Alliance. “This incredibly generous community has truly come together as a conscious alliance to help those in need and provide over 2 million meals so far. I believe this showcases the power of a generation willing to give back.”

Donations are used to fill local food banks nationwide, as well as provide meals and fund youth empowerment programs on the Pine Ridge Reservation. Pine Ridge is nearly the same size as Connecticut, with a population of roughly 30,000 people – and only one grocery store. Conscious Alliance currently operates two food banks on Pine Ridge.

“When putting on a concert you are creating an environment that is about fun, celebration and dancing, but it's important to integrate an element of real life into that experience, like a food drive,” said Peter Shapiro, producer of Lockn’ Festival and Fare Thee Well: Celebrating 50 years of the Grateful Dead. “Conscious Alliance is, far and away, the best organizer of food drives at music shows in America. It's something that can be easy to do, but is not easy to do well – and Conscious Alliance does it really well.”

Conscious Alliance attended Natural Products Expo West in March 2016, and continues to partner with natural and organic food brands including Justin’s, Plum Organics, Angie’s Boom Chicka Pop, WhiteWave Foods, Annie’s Homegrown, Jackson’s Honest and more.

The organization and brands work together to provide nutritious food to students at the Loneman School on Pine Ridge Reservation through Conscious Alliance’s ‘Bring Nutrition Home’ Backpack Program – one of the nation’s only all-natural and organic, healthy food backpack programs. 100 percent of Loneman School students receive free and reduced lunch, and 194 out of 250 are considered homeless based on their temporary or substandard living situation.

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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 programs by 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. For more information visit http://www.consciousalliance.org/.

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Emily Smith
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