KALAMAZOO, MI – The K’zoo Folklife Organization will hold part its 17th Annual Loaves & Fishes Benefit Concert on Nov. 22, and encourages the community to lend a helping hand by food or donating money.
Donations of non-perishable food items such as tuna, canned meats, and peanut butter will be collected at the free concert at the Trinity Lutheran Church at 504 S. Westnedge Ave., in downtown Kalamazoo. Cash donations will also be accepted.
The show starts at 6:30, and concert goers can expect to see a variety of area musicians.
“We get new musicians all the time,” said June Kucks, co-chair of the benefit concert and secretary/treasurer of the K’zoo Folklife Organization. “It’s exciting to see these new musicians be a part of this.”
The benefit concert tradition began in 1997 when Ken Johnson, pastor at Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church, suggested that something be done to help the less fortunate. K’zoo Folklife Organization has since teamed up with Loaves & Fishes to bring food to those in need annually.
“There’s always a demand for food donations,” said Kevin Minor, communications coordinator for Kalamazoo Loaves & Fishes. “This past summer was probably the busiest for us.”
“Concerts like this are important because not only do they bring in donations, but they also help to raise awareness.”
Kalamazoo Loaves & Fishes is the largest provider of food to hungry people in Kalamazoo County.
The K’zoo Folklife Organization usually draws a packed house of about 300 people to its benefit concerts for Loaves & Fishes, Kucks said.
The concert typically brings in between $500 and $1,000 in monetary donations and over the years has collected donated tens of thousands of pounds of food that has been donated to the food pantry, she said.
“We have a very special community,” Kucks said.