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Boulder nonprofit based around live music finds ways to continue mission of feeding hungry

Boulder-based Conscious Alliance relies on concerts and music festivals to collect food. How are they doing with no music?

BOULDER, Colo. — A Boulder nonprofit that traditionally has collected donations at concerts and music festivals is finding ways to adapt and continue feeding the hungry amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Conscious Alliance collects food and money at 100 or so concerts and music festivals all over the country. In return for their donation, music fans get a poster of their favorite band, created by well-known artists. 

Last year, Conscious Alliance was able to provide more than one million meals to those in need.

RELATED: This Boulder nonprofit is using posters of popular bands to help feed the hungry

Even though there are no concerts or festivals because of COVID-19, Justin Levy, the executive director of the nonprofit, said they are still giving food to the hungry by finding ways to adapt.

He said they've been able to form partnerships with bands to run virtual food drives on their live-streamed concerts. 

Shows by Widespread Panic, String Cheese Incident and Umphrey's McGee have turned into thousands of meals.

Last week, Conscious Alliance ran a food giveaway at Wyatt Academy in Denver. Students and families were able to pick up canned foods, fresh produce, turkeys and other meals provided by Arcana restaurant in Boulder.

Credit: Gary Shapiro

Levy said it's more important than ever to get food to people who are struggling and out of work right now.

RELATED: 'Feed the Frontlines' raises $500,000 to help restaurants and frontline workers in Boulder

Another big part of Conscious Alliance's mission has been providing food to the residents of the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota. It's where the organization started 18 years ago. 

Levy said they are still sending food to the reservation once a month.

It's still not clear when live music will be back and when Conscious Alliance will be back to normal, giving away posters and turning them into much-needed food for struggling families. 

But until then, Levy said they will continue to work hard and be creative to continue their mission of feeding the hungry.

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