Battle of the Bands

Area Learning Center

St. Cloud, Minnesota

Steve Hansen, Teacher

Margaret Maderfeld, Lawyer

Kathy Maloney, Community Representative


Age: High School

Issue: To be hungry anywhere in America is a crime. To be hungry in Minnesota in the middle of winter is torture. In the state of Minnesota, there are 74,000 children under the age of 12 who are hungry. A total of 160,000 are either hungry or at risk of hunger in the state of Minnesota; 21.2% of the children under 12 are at risk of hunger.

Our team's main concern is the hunger problem of the youth in St. Cloud, Minnesota. We are students at an alternative high school who see this problem at school on a day to day basis. The following are two testimonials from our working team:

Student 1 is a 16-year-old student at the St. Cloud Area Learning Center who has faced the problem of hunger throughout her childhood. When she was in elementary school, her family faced a particularly hard time when most meals, outside free school lunches, consisted of saltine crackers. Her family got through these times with little help. There are still times when her family goes hungry toward the end of the month.

Student 2, from St. Joseph, MN, went through similar hardships as a child. Money for food was scarce at times and he and his twin brother looked to their older brother to make them ketchup sandwiches or toast when there was nothing else available. After a while they began to seek help from some local food shelves who would provide things such as bread, canned goods, and maybe an occasional box of Rice a Roni. His family relies mostly on food stamps for consistent meals.

These students are not a rare exception to the rule at the Area Learning Center. A large percentage of students here have faced, and still do face, this problem. That's why we feel that it is our responsibility to become a part of the solution.

Community Action Project:

1. Arranged Entertainment: We booked five bands to volunteer their playing time for a food drive. A local radio D.J. is also volunteering time at the event to give away music cassettes and Radio Station Merchandise.

2. Arranged Location: We secured the most cost effective location available which is the Del Win Ballroom in St. Joseph, Minnesota.

3. Advertising:

1) Arranged an agreement with a local radio station to match our advertising time.

2) Designed flyers for the advertisement that we will be hanging around St. Cloud and the surrounding areas such as: St. Joe, Sauk Rapids, Clearwater and Waite Park. All are a part of the school system and part of the St. Cloud Community.

3) Contacted the St. Cloud Times to have the event listed in "Silver Linings," a listing of community events.

4. Equipment: Contacted community members to volunteer the time and equipment to put on the show. Through the help of the bands, we obtained equipment such as a P.A. system, lighting, speakers, and guitar and bass amplifiers.

5. Security: We contacted the Stearns County Sheriff's Department to find out if off-duty officers could regulate the audience at the show.

6. Proceeds: All proceeds will be donated to the Caritas Food Shelf.

Goals and Measurement of Success:

1. Goals:

1) To set a proactive model to other teens which inspires them to recognize and take action against the problem of hunger in our own community.

2) To alert all people who attend the event and community members in general to the serious problem we need to face as a community.

3) To provide food for the Caritas food shelter during January, a month when food stocks are traditionally low.

2. Measurements of Success:

1) Whether we reach our goal of 100 pounds of donated food, which represents five people's food supply for a week.

2) Whether we reach our goal of raising $700.00 at this performance which could mean 1400 cans of soup, 1400 dozen eggs, or 700 pounds of ground beef for people who are hungry in our community.

3) Comparison of the number of people who attend and the amount of food donated. These measurements will indicate how the issue of hungry people's needs were heard and met by the community.

Future Projects:

1. The 25(+) signatures and numbers gathered at the show will be used to bring together a group of people to set up an additional project to battle this problem in our community.

2. The names will be submitted to Caritas Food Shelf. Caritas will contact them to volunteer in special projects or daily work.

Congratulations to the Area Learning Center Students!! This project won the "Do Something Grant" sponsored by Blockbuster, Guess, Taco Bell, and the New York Times.

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