Friday, March 26, 2010

Myth, Magic & Reality: Orchestras Feeding America

Usually, like any arts organization in the country today, the Harrisburg Symphony would be making a pitch to its concert-goers for contributions to help support the orchestra. But at this weekend's concerts - Saturday at 8pm, Sunday at 3pm at the Forum - they're accepting donations of food items for the League of American Orchestra's nationwide drive called “ORCHESTRAS FEEDING AMERICA.”

The Harrisburg Symphony Orchestra is one of six orchestras in Pennsylvania – along with the symphonies in Allentown, Altoona and Reading, plus the Philadelphia Orchestra and the Philadelphia Sinfonia – and over 150 orchestras in 41 states across the country participating in the project this month. That number may be down (so far) from last year's 250 in all 50 states, but the project isn't over – the deadline is May 15th – and more orchestras are adding on to join the cause regularly.

Did you know that in 2008, 17.1 million households across the United States were “food insecure,” up from 13 million households in 2007. Households with children reported at almost double the rate of households without children.

Imagine what the number must be like in 2010 with so many people who are out of work or have lost their homes or their retirement investments and benefits? Think how many people who used to feel comfortably secure are now too embarrassed to report such a need or feel ashamed to “resort” to help like a neighborhood food pantry?

Some of the foods on the “most requested” list include
dry and canned soups
powdered or canned milk
peanut butter
canned beans
canned fruits and vegetables
canned meats
fruit juices
macaroni and cheese

Items they cannot accept include
items in glass jars or bottles
unlabeled or dented cans
any open or resealed package
any perishable or homemade foods
expired products.

The food drive also cannot accept monetary donations at this time or non-food items like clothing or diapers.

Please help the orchestra help the community raise contributions of food items for local food pantries.

The concert is called “Music of Myth and Magic” but you can help make a little magic yourself by bringing in a few of these items which you can leave with the ushers when you enter the Forum for the concerts on Saturday night at 8pm or on Sunday afternoon at 3pm.

And thanks!

- Dr. Dick
(I've posted about the music on this weekend's concerts here and here.)

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