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Boulder Weekly – Summer food drive and concert series

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Conscious Alliance feeds, educates and empowers

“It started with one food drive and two bands,” Levy says. “Now we work with dozens of bands and dozens of artists, hosting food drives almost every week.”

In addition, the Conscious Alliance has broadened its services. More than simply providing food, the ultimate goal is to provide quality food and nutrition education with the help of natural food companies such as Justin’s, KIND Snacks and Plum Organics. 

“What started as emergency food relief has really turned into nutrition and exercise education and the opportunity to start youth empowerment programs as well,” Levy says. “Diabetes is high everywhere in America, and it starts with the food we fuel our bodies with. We believe in eating healthy and that every child deserves healthy, nutritious food that will help fuel them for the rest of their lives and lay the ground work for all of the amazing things that they will accomplish in their lives.”

In this vein, they prefer donations of low-sodium and organic canned foods and explicitly won’t accept ramen noodles in exchange for a poster. 

Conscious Alliance works most closely with Pine Ridge Reservation, located about six hours from Boulder in the Black Hills of South Dakota. Their immersion into the reservation’s culture is successful due to what Levy describes as a three-tier approach, which includes providing food, along with nutrition education and cultural empowerment workshops. 

“With consistent work with the community at Pine Ridge and in having employees there, we are developing programs to work around nutrition and exercise, around gardening, around healthy eating programs as well as cultural programs,” Levy says. 

The participation from fans and supporters who come out to shows, donate food and help with Conscious Alliance’s endeavors, of course, makes the work at Pine Ridge possible. 

“The fans have been super supportive and receptive,” Lerner says. “We see more and more people in line to donate food every night. Over the years the fans have made a difference, and that’s what it’s all about.”

The people at Conscious Alliance look to accomplish more than just their 100,000-meal goal this summer. For Levy, it’s also about community engagement.

“Whether they’re going to Electric Forest or Vertex [Festival in Buena Vista, Colorado], we want people to look out for Conscious Alliance and just learn how to engage in their local community as well, whether it’s Conscious Alliance or not,” he says. “There are amazing organizations out there, and it’s important for people to find something that they’re passionate about.” 

The Conscious Alliance booth will be at more than 15 concerts and festivals this summer throughout Colorado and the rest of the country. Levy, for one, is optimistic the organization will reach its goal.

“I don’t want to put a ceiling on what Conscious Alliance can accomplish in the future,” Levy says. “Inherently people want to give back — they just need to be given the opportunity.”

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