November 18, 2011 12:37:00 PM
With the help of a philanthropic Golden Triangle, a Strings for Food drive hosted by Backstage Music in Starkville Saturday hopes to collect more than 1,500 pounds of non-perishable food items to boost area food banks for the holidays. And, in this case, giving back may never have sounded so good.
"The way it works is simple," said Allen McBroom, co-owner of Backstage. "Bring in at least five non-perishable, in-date food items, and we'll restring the donor's guitar with name-brand strings." Guitars will also have fingerboards cleaned and oiled, frets polished, new strings stretched and the guitar tuned, all in exchange for the food donation.
Numerous well-known area musicians have volunteered to help with the community aid effort. John Brocato, Jerry Carnathan, Bruce "Bird" Crain, Joe Jordan, David Langford, Dee McKay and Jeffrey Rupp are among those who will contribute their time and skill to Saturday's food drive and restringing project, lasting from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Thirty-four independent music stores across the country are participating in Strings for Food.
"We rely on the community for our livelihood, and this is an opportunity for us to give back," said McBroom. As of Thursday, 9,659 pounds of non-perishable food items had been collected nationwide.
"We'd like to push that way over the 10,000 pounds mark Saturday," he stated, adding that the single store record so far is 1,500 pounds, collected at a music shop in Jacksonville, Fla. "Nobody wants to be second place, right?" smiled McBroom, saying that he hopes the Golden Triangle can match or exceed that figure.
Volunteers and staff will receive and sort food donations Saturday, check expiration dates and prepare donations for delivery to distribution points at St. Joseph's Catholic Church, Calvary Baptist Church and First United Methodist Church in Starkville.
Kroger, Piggly Wiggly and Copy Cow in Starkville are among those who have offered their support, McBroom noted.
"We live in an uncertain world, and with the economic upheavals we've had in last few years, with industries changing, we never know from one day to the next who's going to be in need of help," he said. "We have a moral obligation as members of the community to make sure the food banks are stocked and able to take care of our neighbors."
Backstage Music is located at 115 Highway 12 W. in Starkville, across the highway from Ruby Tuesday. For more information, go to backstagemusic.com, visit their Facebook page, or contact them at 662-323-3824.
Jan Swoope is the Lifestyles Editor for The Commercial Dispatch.