Music for Hunger in America
Main Street Park
Music Festival to Fight Hunger
How many people who read and write hubs know what real hunger is? Not many, I suspect. But here in the US the number of households that have limited access to nutritious foods is growing. Some statistics report as many as 10% of American families lived in households considered to be food insecure (http://www.frac.org).
Recently, I attended and hosted a vendor booth for Spirit of Peace at the first Grow And Share Music Festival at the Main Street Park in Rolesville, NC. What a wonderful experience! The weather was just right for families to come out, eat a variety of foods that any doctor would advise against, sit on blankets in the grass and listen to one band after another sing and play from a varied repertoire of old, new, and original.
Grow and Share is a non-profit organization started by Kay and Frank Whatley. Their intent is to fight hunger by promoting gardening. They do this by giving away seedlings to people in need. Those who accept the seedlings have to promise to share what they grow with others. This helps achieve the Whatley’s other goal, building communities.
"Grow and Share"
To finance their projects for the rest of this year and into 2010, the Whatleys planned and executed their big fundraiser, The Grow and Share Music Festival. Musicians were invited from several genres: folk, acoustic rock, blues, Southern Rock. Sponsors included Pilot Baptist Church, East River Road Auto Sales, WSHA Radio Station, and International Minute Press.
Those bands and singers who performed included Kevin Wing, a singer/songwriter whose voice reminded me of John Legend; Old Avenue, a band that picked up right where Wing left off with their folksy-jazz sound; John Goose, who really got the crowd’s attention with his acoustic rock sound; Moonfisher, who introduced a more rock flavor to the day; Mister Felix, the old guard who brought a mix of jazz and rock and roll; Jo Gore and the Alternative, the rock group whose alternative genre reflects their name; and Lucky Draw, a fledgling group that, right now, plays covers of the great bands of the 70’s.
The Growing Hunger Problem
The Whatleys saw a need and have stepped up to tackle it. They recognize the statistical change in America’s growing problem with hunger. Internet sites report that grocery prices rose over 4 % in 2007, and doubled for staples such as bread, milk, flour and eggs. Because of the drop in the economy, donations to food banks have dropped, but requests for assistance rose 20% (For more info go to http://www.hungerreport.org).
Yes, the crowd at the Main Street Park was entertained with music, music, and more music from the start of the festival to the end. And those of us listening were all reminded that, in this economy, growing our food and sharing our hearts is a necessity. The Whatleys hope to make this an annual event. If the enthusiasm of the bands that performed and the joy on the faces of the children who attended are any indication, next year’s event should already be in the making.