Several years ago I was playing a gig with my friend Tom Hayden in a band called Back In Motion. We were between sets and Tom was talking about a successful food drive he had worked on at his day job with the US Postal Service. The downside was that the large amount of food they had generated was expected to be gone within a few weeks. There was a lot more going out of the food bank than there was coming in. All the work they did on the food drive would soon need to be done again, and again after that. Tom was determined to do more to help the situation, and by the end of our next set break, he had sketched out the structure and goals for a new non-profit we would call FoodStock. I signed on as a volunteer and board member. Tom became president. We rounded up a few others and got started trying to figure out how to raise money and awareness about hunger and food insecurity in our local area of Lancaster County, PA.
As Tom often says, food insecurity is not a "sexy" issue. It sometimes comes with an unneccessary stigma. Sometimes people who need help are too embarrassed to ask for it. Sometimes those who can give help instead blame the needy and make harsh assumptions about their work ethic or life decisions. But a significant portion of our community is only one bad break or lost job away from facing possible food shortages. It can happen to you. Or somebody you know. It’s a problem that doesn’t immediately stand out to friends, acquaintances and coworkers. As I said, there is sometimes an unfortunate stigma attached to needing help.
FoodStock's goal is to raise money in support of local food banks by staging musical fundraising events and donating the proceeds to a variety of "hands on", local groups that work to eliminate hunger in our county.
Our biggest event each year is FoodStock MusicFest, and this year's edition is coming up soon- this Saturday, July 28 from 11am-6pm at The Pennsylvania Renaissance Fairegrounds in Mannheim, PA. We've got 6 musical acts lined up, there are silent and Chinese style auctions, raffles, craft vendors, food, beer and wine. It will be a full day of goodness and hopefully we'll raise a ton of money to give away.
Our musical line-up for the day is as follows:
11-11:20am Rob Reese (guitar)
11:30-12:30pm Corsair Blue Jazz Orchestra (big band)
2:15-3:30pm Steel Radiance (classic rock)
3:45-4:45pm Benjamin Vo Blues Band (blues)
I play trumpet and sing with Vinyl Groov, so I'll be there to help close out the music. I'll also be around the entire day as a volunteer, doing whatever needs done.
We would love to see a huge crowd at FoodStock because people need to eat everyday, all year round, and we can help them do that. So please consider getting a ticket or donating. The best way is via the FoodStock website: www.foodstockpa.org
Follow FoodStock on social media for the latest news and info:
See you on Saturday for FoodStock V!!