Music raises money for Nanaimo homeless

Eighteen-year-old Kennedy Baker is banking on the public’s love of music to help fight hunger.

The teen, founder of the organization STAND, is hosting the second annual Songs for Spuds to raise dollars needed to feed the city’s poor one night this year.

STAND launched the benefit concert for the first-time last year to support the Potato Project, an initiative that fed bowls of chili and baked potatoes to more than 150 people in a one-day event last April.

With greater awareness of the meal, more of Nanaimo’s impoverished are expected to line up this year, according to Baker, who is looking to collect the donations to keep the initiative going.

“It is…one of STAND’s first events,” Baker said. “I worked at the soup kitchen a lot and noticed there [wasn’t] a lot of meals on the weekends and evenings so I wanted to fill the gap on a night there wasn’t food for these people.”

STAND – a 20-member organization looking to address poverty – hopes to raise close to $2,000 at this year’s benefit concert, which will go toward food and take-away bags of socks, snacks and hygiene products.

The event features live performances by musicians Jamie Ruddick, Nick Begg and Lena Birtwistle beginning at 7 p.m at Nanaimo’s Fibber Magees tonight (Feb. 20). Admission is $10. A percentage of all food and beverage purchases will also go toward the cause.

“It’s a really rewarding evening…$10 goes a long way to helping a lot of people,” Baker said.

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