Music School Students Collect 769 Pounds of Food in Holiday Drive for Local Nonprofit

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2 cans food drive featured video

The Rochester Academy of Arts and Music took in donations amounting to 679 pounds of food in its November food drive for Foodlink, the music school announced Dec. 8. The school also made a cash donation to the nonprofit.

“I am very grateful for the success we have had at the Academy, and welcome any chance to give back to the community that has been so good to us,” Academy Director Brannon Hungness said in a statement.

The food drive was initiated by Brigid Harrigan, the academy’s assistant director. She even put together prize packages from local businesses so the school could offer raffle tickets to encourage donations. And when Harrigan suggested the idea, Hungness immediately agreed and pledged to offer cash matching on top of the food donations.

Harrigan chose to partner with Foodlink because of its mission to fight hunger in the Rochester area. In addition to distributing more than 18 million pounds of food in 2014 alone, the nonprofit also offers nutrition courses and works to create access points for healthy foods in underserved neighborhoods.

Uniting Rochester Families

Private schools like the Rochester Academy of Arts and Music are often respected because they’re assumed to provide a more rigorous alternative to their public counterparts. But Hungness is committed to being an integral part of the Rochester community, in addition to providing quality instruction. The school holds performances on Frontier Field, hosts fundraisers for locally focused charities and supports arts education.

“Celebrating family is very important to us at the Academy, as hundreds of families come through our doors each week,” Harrigan said in a statement. “An important part of being a family-friendly organization is seizing opportunities to help support families who are in a time of need.”

Hungness, too, emphasized the importance of family when saying the school is looking forward to holding another drive next year. “This food drive will not only aid those struggling with hunger, but has brought together families in a joint effort to make a difference in the city we love,” he said. “This will definitely become an annual tradition for the academy.”

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