You might have read that ARI UK administrator Julie Watkins uses music concerts to raise money for local charities. Turns out she’s not alone: Sourcing Coordinator Jeanne Evans just let us know about her latest Rock for Food event at Medford’s Flying W, November 11 from 2:00 – 9:00 pm. Here’s the scoop:
Rock For Food, created by Evans and her husband in the destructive aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, uses concerts like these to collect non-perishable food donations twice a year for the Food Bank of South Jersey. They host a number of local bands playing different types of music — “We have a little something for everyone!” says Evans — and admission is free with a donation of 4 or more food items. Over the years she has raised over 18,000 pounds for the food bank, and hopes to break the 20,000 pound mark with next month’s event.
Jeanne reminds us that the food items most needed are canned tuna, salmon, chicken; peanut butter & jelly; rice, pasta & sauce; boxed mac ‘n cheese; canned veggies, fruit; apple sauce, dried fruit, fruit cups; boxed cereal, oatmeal; granola bars, breakfast bars; canned soups, stews, chili; almonds; canned beans; all meals in a can.
Evans’ passion to feed the hungry is fueled by her own life story. She says her mother was a widow working a minimum wage job to feed seven children. Though her family was poor, she explains that today the food insecure are not necessarily impoverished or homeless: many people struggle to make ends meet, and so choose to pay their mortgage or for needed medical care rather than buy food. Evans is working to make those choices less punishing on the families that must make them.