LSM Newswire

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Cleveland Orchestra to join Orchestras Feeding America to benefit the Cleveland Foodbank

Americaĺ─˘s orchestras will partner with Feeding America in a national food drive for second consecutive year

Concertgoers and community members invited to drop off food at events on March 9, 14, 18 and 20

CLEVELAND, February 26, 2010 ĺ─ý The Cleveland Orchestra will hold a food drive March 9-20 to collect goods to be donated to the Cleveland Foodbank. The partnership is part of Orchestras Feeding America, a national food drive by Americaĺ─˘s symphony orchestras. This is the second consecutive year that Americaĺ─˘s orchestras have mobilized their musicians, staff, volunteers, and audiences to help alleviate hunger in communities across the country.

Non-perishable food donations will be collected at the Cleveland Orchestra High School concert on Tuesday, March 9, at 12:00 p.m.; Family Concert on Sunday, March 14, at 2:00 p.m.; Cleveland Orchestra Youth Orchestra and Youth Chorus concert on Sunday, March 14, at 7:00 p.m.; and the Cleveland Orchestra concerts on Thursday, March 18, and Saturday, March 20, at 8:00 p.m. For information about the types of food that can be accepted, please visit clevelandorchestra.com.

To date, 94 orchestras are participating in Orchestras Feeding America, and the number of participants is growing daily. Most orchestras will conduct their food drives during the month of March. The project is organized by the League of American Orchestras, which represents the nationĺ─˘s professional, volunteer, and youth orchestras, and Feeding Americaĺ─˘s network of over 200 food banks and 63,000 agencies. In 2009, 250 orchestras in all 50 states collected more than 200,000 pounds of food. Last year, The Cleveland Orchestra collected nearly 1,000 pounds of food, all of which was donated to the Cleveland Foodbank.

ĺ─˙The length and severity of the economic downturn has impacted many of us, individuals and businesses alike, but now is the time for us to help our neighbors most in need,ĺ─¨ said Cleveland Orchestra Executive Director Gary Hanson. ĺ─˙This food drive is just one way our orchestra can give back to the Northeast Ohio community.ĺ─¨
According to the most recent USDA study, 49.1 million Americans (of which 16.7 million were children) lived in food-insecure households in 2008. Each week, approximately 5.7 million people receive emergency food assistance from an agency served by a Feeding America member. This is a 27 percent increase over numbers reported in Hunger in America 2006, which reported that 4.5 million people were served each week.

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Long considered one of Americaĺ─˘s great orchestras, The Cleveland Orchestra stands today among the worldĺ─˘s most revered symphonic ensembles. In concerts at home in Severance Hall, at Blossom Music Center, in residence in Miami, and on tour, The Cleveland Orchestra continues to set standards of performing excellence and imaginative programming that serve as models for audiences and performers alike.

The Cleveland Orchestraĺ─˘s Community Music Initiative is a series of artistic initiatives and new programs aimed at diversifying the Orchestraĺ─˘s offerings and reaching more children, adults, teachers, students, musicians, and families than ever before. These innovative programs offer everyone, from preschool children to adults, the opportunity to experience music in a variety of ways, throughout their lives, and throughout the community.

For more information, visit clevelandorchestra.com.

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