German Village Gazette

Feed the People Concert to benefit South Side food pantry

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A trio of central Ohio bands hope to spread holiday cheer while raising money for hungry families on the South Side.

The third annual Feed the People concert will be held from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Dec. 1 at St. Paul United Church of Christ, 225 E. Gates St.

Admission is free, but donations will benefit the Southside Community Ministries Food Pantry.

Live entertainment will be provided by Throat Culture, an a capella group; singer-songwriter outfit Francisco Rojas with Jon Honeycutt and pop-rock band Lake Wilburn.

Chili, coney dogs and cornbread will be served from 4 to 5:15 p.m.

Linda Langhorst, who is helping organize the concert, said the food pantry has seen an increase of 37 percent in people seeking services.

Meanwhile, a $1 donation to the food pantry equals $8 worth of groceries from the Mid-Ohio Foodbank, the major supplier of the organization's food.

"The need is even greater than ever," Langhorst said.

"We feed about 1,000 people every month. It's costing us about $1 a day per person."

Last year's event raised $4,500, making it the most successful fundraiser to date. Langhorst said all the money raised goes directly to purchasing food.

But the pantry is struggling to help the growing number of people who need help, particularly as the cost of food increases, said Craig King, operations director for the food pantry.

"Those two things are causing us problems this year and for this year coming up," King said. "Our mission is to feed those who are eligible for food. It's hard to do without the money."

Otherwise, the pantry faces the possibility of reducing the number of days it is open per month, the amount of food it provides or running the current operation until it's out of funds and then closing the pantry until new revenues are found, King said.

John Bolzenius, a singer in Throat Culture and owner of Guitar House Workshop in the Grandview Heights area, said the community has really come together over Feed the People.

"The crowd's been really good," he said. "They're very generous. They come ready to support it. There's just a real nice spirit at the show."

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