Conscious Alliance is a national 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization based in Boulder, Colorado. We are committed to distributing much-needed food to communities across the United States, and providing long-term solutions to hunger by focusing on empowerment programs for youth in impoverished regions of the country.
We operate through ongoing, grassroots food collection and hunger awareness programs, primarily by organizing food drives at concerts and music events. The donations we receive benefit local food pantries nationwide and economically isolated Native American reservations. We are raising awareness of the extreme poverty on many Native American reservations, which are among the nation’s poorest communities, and providing opportunities for Native American youth to explore their creativity and develop strong ties to their culture.
We use art as the incentive to inspire people to donate food and funds to our cause. Participants in our ‘Art That Feeds’ food drives receive an event-specific poster for making a suggested donation of non-perishable food items or a recommended monetary donation. All food donations we collect are distributed to Feeding America Food Bank affiliates in the region where the food drive takes place. The money we raise is used to purchase and deliver food in large bulk quantities to Native American reservations across the United States.
Since our inception in 2002, we have hosted hundreds of ‘Art That Feeds’ food drives at music festivals including Bonnaroo, Power to the Peaceful, and Wakarusa, and at concerts by artists such as The String Cheese Incident, STS9, Jack Johnson, Michael Franti & Spearhead, Phish, Dave Matthews, and many others. Through these collaborations and partnerships with companies like Whole Foods Market and Justin’s Nut Butter, Conscious Alliance has been able to collect and distribute enough food to provide over 1.6 million meals to people in need nationwide.
In 2005, we constructed a food storage and distribution facility on the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota, one of the poorest communities in the country. This facility gives us the capacity to operate an emergency food relief effort that is designed to provide assistance to hundreds of families during times of crisis and at the end of the month, when many families have exceeded their budgets and cannot afford to purchase food. We maintain a full facility that we keep permanently stocked at all times due to generous food donations from our supporters.
While striving to meet immediate needs through emergency hunger relief efforts, we simultaneously focus on creating sustainable solutions to poverty on reservations by providing opportunities for the youth in these communities to thrive. Many of these youth experience high levels of adolescent risk factors, including extreme economic deprivation. Our youth empowerment programs assist the younger generation in developing and upholding a strong relationship to their community and culture. These youth programs are intended to cultivate confidence, creativity, hope, and ambition in both native and non-native youth.
We also empower youth through our ‘Art That Feeds’ food drives. Our presence at music events increases awareness about the ongoing food insecurity in the United States, and creates a philanthropic opportunity for a younger demographic to donate to a charity at a concert or festival. The response from the music community has been overwhelming—not only do we receive an incredible amount of donations at our ‘Art That Feeds’ food drives, we also have a team of committed volunteers and interns who collectively contribute more than 5,000 hours a year to our cause. Many of these volunteers, interns, and donors are between the ages of 16-24, a demographic that is often unacquainted with nonprofit organizations and charitable giving.
Today, Conscious Alliance is stronger than ever and looking towards the future. Over the past decade Conscious Alliance has evolved into a network of thousands of volunteers, artists, music industry supporters, corporate sponsors, and individuals who donate food, funds, and time to the cause. With the assistance of caring people, Conscious Alliance will continue to offer life-saving and life-enhancing opportunities to those with the greatest needs.