February 18, 2020
Conscious Alliance is on a mission to end hunger through the power of art and music.
This national hunger relief and youth empowerment organization provides meals to communities across the country by partnering with artists, musicians and food brands to gather food donations at concerts and music festivals and directly from brands. Conscious Alliance also makes it accessible to help fight hunger, handling all logistics from sorting and packing to transporting truckloads of food.
The organization will be on site at Natural Products Expo West 2020 next week—an opportunity for your food brand to partner up with Conscious Alliance to help feed those in need. Justin Levy, Executive Director of Conscious Alliance, shares more below.
What impact has Conscious Alliance had?
Justin Levy: Almost 18 years ago, we started out with an idea to host a food drive at a concert. We came up with the String Cheese Incident at the Fillmore Auditorium [in Denver, Colorado]. We created a poster for the show, teamed up with an artist who created a poster and offered it to folks who donated 10 cans of food or gave a monetary donation in support of the food drive. It brought in 4,000 pounds of food—4,000 meals—and we realized we had something going, so we did it again.
It turned into 8,000 meals, and we brought it to Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota. That was kind of our first food trade and first place [for us] to provide meals. Eighteen years later, Pine Ridge is still the heart of our founding story. We have a full-time food pantry there. We work with all 15 elementary schools to make sure their kids have food on the weekends.
We also work with communities across the country. What we learned from working in the music industry and on tours is that it's allowed us to team up with natural food brands. We met Justin Gold of Justin's when they had about four employees, and we went to Pine Ridge together. They chose us as their national charity to contribute to, and a decade later, we're still working together, feeding thousands and thousands of kids across the country.
Why should brands partner with you for food donations?
JL: Conscious Alliance makes it really easy for food makers and food brands to participate in the fight against hunger. We work with brands to take their excess inventory, making sure it doesn't go into the landfill and getting it into the hands of kids and families who need it most. We handle all the shipping, logistics and distribution. An added bonus is that we also carbon offset all the trucking that it takes to get product from the brand's warehouse into the hands of kids.
We also have a great partnership with 1% for the Planet, and we're really proud to be a partner of theirs to not only impact hunger, but also to have a positive impact on the environment.
How can brands contact you to set up a meeting on site at Expo West?
JL: We'd love to have brands reach out to us. The easiest way is to email me: [email protected].
Is there anything new and exciting happening with Conscious Alliance?
JL: Our partnership with 1% for the Planet and the fact that we are carbon offsetting all trucking to make sure we're having the biggest impact is really exciting. Also, last year was our first year of crossing a million meals in one calendar year.
Ready to join the fight against hunger? Contact Justin Levy ([email protected]) to see how your brand can become an ally.
Editor's note: Because of concerns about the coronavirus situation, Natural Products Expo West has been postponed.
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