July 13: Doing good by having fun with LIVE UNITED

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On July 13, Greater Twin Cities United Way (GTUW) is hosting a LIVE UNITED event from 1:00 – 4:00 p.m. at the Minneapolis Convention Center Plaza. The event is free and features live music by The Last Goodnight, Tim Mahoney, and Brent “BDF” Foster as well as family-friendly activities and free food.

Sunday’s event is the culmination of a month-long, massive food drive in which 50 MN companies have participated, with the goal of raising a million pounds of food or cash equivalent by July 13. Attendees are encouraged to bring a bag of nonperishable food items or cash donation as admission. Donations will go to the Emergency Foodshelf Network (EFN) and Second Harvest Heartland. Attendees can also volunteer at the event sorting and packaging 160,000 pounds of food.

So what kind of food items should you bring to the event? According to Ted Evans of the EFN, during the summer months when children are not in school, child-specific foods are in high demand. These include items children can prepare on their own, such as soups and microwavable items. Cereal is always popular as well as high protein items like stews and canned meats that parents can prepare.

The LIVE UNITED event also kicks off GTUW’s Agenda for Lasting Change, which includes, among its 10 goals, reducing hunger 20 percent by 2009. Marcia Fink of GTUW says that events like Saturday’s highlight public awareness of hunger, especially when food shelf usage is at an all time high. To learn more about the event go to www.liveunitedTC.org.

Marion Gómez live and writes in the Twin Cities.