IC musicians perform for local food bank


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The Johnson County Crisis Center helps approximately 4,500 individuals per month, and the number is growing. This weekend, Iowa City band Eufórquestra will hold a concert to benefit the Crisis Center.

Eufeórquestra, Dennis McMurrin & the Demolition Band, and David Zollo will perform at Gabe's at 8 p.m. Dec. 23. Along with the performance from the three acts, the show will feature a canned-food drive and silent auction.

"We are really fortunate — the residents of Iowa City have a huge heart for this kind of service," said Beth Ritter Ruback of the Crisis Center. "People walk in every day with donations, the students are great about doing food drives, and local businesses are very supportive."

Yet despite the charity of area residents, the Crisis Center is always in need. In October, the center had 3,329 household visits to receive food, Ritter Ruback said. Last year in the same month, it had 2,715 visits.

"We are up about 600 visits, and the number has been consistently on the rise since this summer," she said.

Every winter, the center holds a large distribution called Project Holiday. With a $15 donation at www.jccrisiscenter.org, the project ensures that families in need are provided with everything needed for a holiday meal. This year, there are 1,400 families registered to receive holiday meals from the Crisis Center.

"These people are our neighbors," Ritter Ruback said. "It affects us all when our neighborhoods aren't as strong as they could be, when children are going to school hungry, and when parents are working three jobs to put food on the table. It affects us all in ways that some people never consider.

"We are really lucky to have benefits like this; it is a great reminder to folks. At a time when most families are getting together to celebrate a wonderful holiday celebration, there are families who are struggling to do such things as pay the rent and put food on the table."

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