Concertgoers donate more than half a ton of people, pet food

Representatives from the Food Bank for Monterey County loaded hundreds of pounds of canned goods into a delivery truck parked at Cal State Monterey Bay's World Theater on Nov. 15.

Canned food was collected for the Food BankThe haul – part of 1,400 pounds of people and pet food – was collected a few days earlier when the December People performed at the theater. To earn a discount off the ticket price for the Nov. 10 performance, the capacity crowd was asked to bring cans of food for people and pets.

The drive was a collaboration between the World Theater and radio station HIPPO 104.3 FM. The donations were given to the food bank, the local SPCA and the Santa Cruz animal shelter.

Everything from canned vegetables and soup to pasta and grains to canned and dried dog food was collected in barrels in the lobby. The World Theater staff separated the donations and got them ready for pick up.

The December People – Robert Berry, Gary Pihl, Dave Medd, Mike Vanderhule and Jack Foster – have been dubbed a “Christian contemporary Spinal Tap.” The group puts its own take on yuletide classics – think Led Zeppelin doing “Silent Night” or a Latin-fused Santana variation of “Deck the Halls.”

Food for animals was also collectedThis was the third year the group appeared at CSUMB. “Because of the fantastic audience response the last two years and the success of the food drive we launched, we brought December People back. The audience had an enthusiastic response to the performance and the special effects lighting show, and the food drive was a success once again,” said Joe Cardinalli, artistic and executive director, University Performances and Special Events.

Hunger remains a persistent reality in the area. According to a 2010 study of hunger in Monterey County, approximately 88,700 different people are served annually by the Food Bank for Monterey County – one-fifth of the county’s population. Every week it serves approximately 10,800 people.

Learn more about the World Theater.