The Arts Join Forces to Fight Hunger

Earlville Opera House to Host Concerts for the Hungry

(Earlville, NY – April 2013) In tough times, hunger goes on the rise. Five years after the onset of the financial crisis, hunger remains high in the U.S. and in Central New York. The Earlville Opera House and Treasures of the Heart of NY are joining forces to get the word out about hunger in our community.

Our goal is to expand support for Madison, Hamilton and Earlville food cupboards.

We will be co-hosting two concerts, the first on Saturday, May 4, the opening concert of the EOH summer season. This joint benefit will raise awareness while celebrating our arts and music. The good times will start at 7:30 p.m. with music from Tumbleweed Highway, Rabbit in the Rye, Pamme Swan and Caitlin Grossjung – all from Central New York.

Hunger in the United States – it’s still serious. The financial and economic crisis that erupted in 2008 caused a dramatic increase in hunger. In 2010, the last year for which statistics are available, approximately one in seven households across the country or 17.2 million – were food insecure, the highest number ever recorded in the United States.

That number matches what we are seeing in here: one in seven households. In 2011, 2.7 million New Yorkers (14.5 percent of the population) lived in poverty. The poverty rates in Madison and Chenango counties are 10 percent and 14 percent, respectively.

In Madison County, the Community Action Partnership coordinates most of the food pantries, with staff who provide education, information and help in obtaining food stamps (now called Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program), as well as providing other information to direct people to possible employment. The 12 food pantry sites in Madison County served 8,025 families and 29,125 individuals in 2005.

In 2012, those numbers jumped to 13,387 families and 44,078 individuals – an increase of 60 percent in seven years.

“Sometimes food pantries are the only resource available to combat hunger,” said Diane Ryan, CAP’s deputy director. “Many families are struggling to pay their rent, utilities and the cost of keeping a car on the road. The food pantry is often the difference between going to bed hungry and having something to eat.”

Suzanne Collins of the Hamilton Food Cupboard is an advocate for the hungry in the Hamilton and Madison school districts.

“Providing food to an ever-growing community can be a challenge at times, but with generous support from individuals and organizations, we are able to help our neighbors in need,” Collins said. “We have a strong belief in healthy eating and empowering our patrons with the ability to provide for themselves. By giving our patrons seeds, starter plants and bucket gardens in the growing season, as well as maintaining a regular supply of produce in the winter, we give them the ability to provide healthy choices for their families.”

The May 4 event marks the new release of Treasures of the Heart of NY’s third volume of original and traditional music in support of CNY Food Cupboards. The musicians on the annual collection of tunes each donate their work to this worthy cause. In fact, there are so many musicians donating to this amazing cause they could not all fit on the compilation CD. There are more tunes available to download. The CD sales support local food cupboards, so purchase your CD compilation at the EOH or at treasuresintheheartofny.org.

Tickets are $8 for adults and $5 for students and youth; they are on sale now at 315.691.3550 or www.earlvilleoperahouse.com5-4 Showcase collage copy--RGB. Seating is reserved with premium seating in front rows. Join us May 4 as we engage our community to end hunger in CNY and celebrate music and the arts.

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