Annual Volunteer Event at San Francisco-Marin Food Bank
Every Saturday morning for the past three years, Bread & Roses Presents has provided live upbeat music for the morning program of the San Francisco Marin Food Bank at their main distribution center in San Rafael. We discovered that the music is as much appreciated by their volunteers as it is by the food recipients.
In a shaded area with flowering trees at their main site off Kerner, we celebrated our volunteers on August 5 with an informal summer gathering. We so appreciated the chance to bring volunteers from both organizations together in a lovely outdoor setting and welcome in person a reunion of the performers and hosts who were able to join us.
Volunteer performer Daniel Erik (guitar/vocals) serenaded with singer and trumpet player Natalie John. Both have played institutional concerts for us through the years with Daniel performing for many audiences including juvenile detention and adult recovery. Natalie first participated when she sang for isolated seniors with Marin Children's Chorus and the acclaimed Marin County teen a capella chorus ‘Til Dawn.
They were joined by long-time volunteer singer-songwriter/guitarist Kurt Huget who played some fun familiar songs and Chris Bryden who played a few of his inspiring originals.
It was wonderful to see so many performers including Karen Drucker, Jeff Mertens, Neil O'Neill, Pat & Joe, Stacy Samuels, Steve Smulian, Maurice Tani, Loretta von Vleck and Mitch Woods among others. We were also honored that board members Matt McWright and Burl Toler Jr. were able to join us along with Circle of Advisors members Rita Abrams, Michael A. Hatfield, Kitty Margolis, Peter Merts and Andrea Schultz. We also appreciated the chance to host a reunion of some of our volunteer hosts including Denise Bondy, Judith Jaslow, Dennis McIntyre, Dick Miner, Daphna Noily, Ira Potovsky, Tracey Rose and Arlene Rudy.
Executive Director Dave Perron welcomed the group warmly noting that the gathering of volunteers from both organizations had the feeling of a happy family. "Our program of live music for the food bank was a pivotal series for our organization during the pandemic and we are so pleased that it is continuing on in Marin as well as locations in the East Bay, San Francisco and the Peninsula," he said.
Daniel Erik sent the following testimonial after the event; “It means the world to me to play music for humans that are isolated from society. I am super grateful to Bread & Roses for providing opportunities to perform in prisons, juvenile halls, homeless shelters, drug rehabilitation clinics and other parts of society that need uplifting live music. Getting to perform for all the volunteers that put on the shows year-round was very special to me.”
Appreciation goes to all the staff, especially Program Manager Jayme Jackson who organized the event and Producer Francesca Lee who coordinated the food and the talent. Big thanks to our friends at JAMBAR for their donation of organic artisan energy bars as well as our other generous food sponsors United Markets (San Rafael), Trader Joe's (Greenbrae and North Beach), Grocery Outlet (San Rafael), Nugget Markets (Corte Madera) and Mollie Stone's (Greenbrae).
We are so grateful to all the volunteers who provide music year-round for those who need it most and help host our ongoing program. We couldn’t do it without you! To volunteer as a performer or host, please visit www.breadandroses.org/volunteer.
Top image (l-r) Chris Bryden, Natalie John and Daniel Erik perform at the volunteer event. Slideshow photos by Peter Merts.
Post by Marian Hubler