Concert patrons, students organize to help local community

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. 12.

Barrels of food collected at a concert on Nov. 9The 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. 9 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.

Canned vegetables and soup, pasta and grains, and canned and dried dog food were collected in barrels in the lobby. The World Theater staff separated the donations and got them ready to be picked 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.”

This was the fourth year the group appeared at CSUMB. “Because of the fantastic audience response the last three 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.

Stop Hunger campaign logoAt Campus Dining services, through the generosity of CSUMB students, staff and faculty, and the sponsorship of Sodexo, the Stop Hunger food drive netted 905 lbs. of food in time for needy families at Thanksgiving. The food was donated to the Food Bank for Monterey County.

The drive is put on every October and November by Sodexo. Students could drop non-perishable food items into donation bins or donate meal plan blocks which campus dining converted into cash, matched the total and used to purchase bulk items such as bags of rice, beans, canned fruit, canned milk and vegetables.

Associated Students held their own food drive, collecting meal plan blocks and cash to help the homeless at Dorothy’s Place Hospitality Center in Salinas.

Hunger remains a persistent reality in the area. The Monterey County Food Bank serves approximately 90,000 people annually – one-fifth of Monterey County’s population. It distributes six million pounds of food each year.

December People and representatives of the Food Bank for Monterey County. Joe Cardinalli, artistic and executive director of University Performances and Special Events, is at the far right.

December People with representatives of the Food Bank