The Bloomington chapter of Music for Food will host a benefit concert for Hoosier Hills Food Bank at 3 p.m. Sunday at First United Methodist Church. It will feature three classical pieces by Schubert, Faure and Brahms performed by IU students and faculty from the Jacob School of Music.
Music for Food is a non-profit organization that uses music to raise money for hunger relief and reaches 22 cities throughout the U.S., Canada and Taiwan. Each chapter hosts a series of concerts where members of the audience are encouraged to donate to a designated local food pantry, such as Hoosier Hills Food Bank.
HHFB collects, stores and distributes food to non-profit agencies that feed food insecure individuals throughout six counties in Indiana. Since opening in 1982, HHFB has distributed over 60 million pounds of food.
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Sung-Mi Im, the artistic director of Music for Food’s Bloomington chapter, said the chapter held its inaugural concert last year and raised about $3,500 for HHFB. She said she is still learning how to spread the word about Music for Food but hopes community support will increase with each concert.
“I’m always looking for ways to improve,” Im said. “Hopefully as we continue this event, eventually more people will learn about it and more people will come.”
Im will be performing on piano in this year’s concert. She said that creating a successful event requires a lot of teamwork, but that collaboration provides everyone involved with valuable learning experience and a sense of community.
“We’re collaborating with students and my friends who are great people that volunteer their time and energy,” Im said. “It’s a great way to create community and learn from each other.”
John Baumann is the associate vice president of research compliance at IU and one of many volunteers organizing this event. He said he supports Music for Food because of the certainty that it will help those in need.
“This is something we know we can actually have a concrete impact on,” Baumann said. “People get meals out of it.”
Julio Alonso, the chief executive officer of HHFB, said any donation is appreciated by the organization and noted there is currently a high demand for its services.
“We’re happy to receive whatever benefit we can but, naturally, the more the better,” Alonso said. “The need is very high right now.”
He said another advantage of the partnership with Music for Food is being able to raise awareness of the food bank’s services to potential clients, volunteers and donors.
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“Any time there’s an event like this there are dual benefits from it,” Alonso said. "The first is the fundraising aspect of it, but it also raises awareness that the food bank exists.
He said he’s excited about this concert and its impact on the food bank.
“You’ll enjoy the music you come to hear, and you’ll leave knowing you have supported a good cause as well,” Alonso said.
The concert will be held 3 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. Sunday at First United Methodist Church at 219 E 4th St. Admission is free to the public and no ticket purchase is required for entry.