by Marcus K. Dowling
On Monday, May 10, the Country Music Association announced its intention — in a partnership with Feeding America — to provide four million meals in cities with large populations of musicians and music industry professionals.
In an Associated Press interview regarding his support of the just-announced campaign, Blake Shelton noted, “There are a lot of people struggling in our country, and COVID has only made that worse. People are going to bed hungry at night now more than ever, and I just can’t live with that. I’ve been passionate for a long time about helping folks get the food they need.”
The CMA’s Feeding America partnership will also see the organization’s foundation launch a donation challenge to fund an additional one million meals throughout all of Feeding America’s food banks. Plus, its Music Industry COVID Support (MICS) Initiative will help those in Atlanta, Austin, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, Nashville, New Orleans, New York, Orlando, Philadelphia, Seattle, Washington and Portland, Oregon. This is also on top of the $3 million that the CMA has already invested in numerous nonprofits that serve the music community.
“Nobody wants to think about their friends or colleagues going without food,” said Country Music Association CEO Sarah Trahern. “I feel like by next year we’re going to be in good stead,” she adds. “But a lot of those people will have gone 18 months to 24 months without salaries in their chosen fields. And then you can’t put a roof over your head or put braces on your kids or put food on the table.”