Meals on a Mission

Meals bring people together during a time where we have to remain apart. 

In these unprecedented times, for many the uncertainty of meals has increased, leaving food banks and non-profits gearing up to do what the do best, but even better.

“This is what we’re built for,” says Justin Levy, executive director of Conscious Alliance. “This is what we do every day.”

Founded in 2002, Conscious Alliance began as a food drive during a String Cheese Incident concert at the Fillmore. Dubbed the “Art That Feeds” food drive, concert-goers would bring a non-perishable food donation and in return receive a limited-edition poster by nationally acclaimed artists. After collecting 4,000 meals at just one concert, the non-profit took off. 

Many meals are taken to the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota, a vulnerable community where food insecurity is at an extreme high. This reservation is just six hours from Boulder and the heart of the non-profits founding story.

“We’re able to make a connection with a younger generation through an event that they were already going to attend,” Levy says. “Our community of heroes is what makes this all possible.”

Today, these food drives happen at more than 100 concerts a year and help bring nourishment to those facing food insecurity nationwide.

“We work with more than 40 leading food brands to get food into the hands of people who need it most,” Levy says. “We just had a record year where we were able to collect and donate more than 1.1 million meals to kiddos in Colorado, Pine Ridge Reservation and beyond.” 

With the changing times and the evolution of an unseen enemy, COVID-19, Conscious Alliance has expanded its efforts even further to support our communities.

“Our team is meeting these challenges by finding new collaborations and opportunities with our fans, artists, musicians, food makers and community partners. In the last few weeks, our typical approach has been transformed and expanded to reach more families in need together. Because of our long-standing relationships with food brands, we are able to procure large amounts of food. We are moving truckloads of critically needed meals and snacks to school districts and food pantries, right in the heart of each community to make food most accessible,” Levy says.

Justin Levy's determination to help started before his involvement with Conscious Alliance. In high school, he went on a field trip to Crow Creek Reservation, an experience that changed his life forever. 

“After this experience, I wanted to be an advocate,” he says. “The kids at Crow Creek didn’t have an advocate. No matter their age, it’s never their fault that they don’t have access to healthy food.” 

After years of volunteering his time Levy joined Conscious Alliance full-time in 2008. He hopes to see the non-profit continue to grow so that Conscious Alliance can continue to meet the need of kiddos and their families.  

“I want to grow the meal count,” Levy says. “I want us to continue to strengthen the relationships between community, art and food. The community makes Conscious Alliance so special, and it’s not just one person, it’s thousands putting in their time energy and talents for the greater good.”

While the world may look a little different right now, Conscious Alliance’s mission remains the same, and soon we’ll be eating meals together again. To learn more about Conscious Alliance and its mission and how you can volunteer, please visit ConsciousAlliance.org

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