Outside the venue, the Philly-based nonprofit will have tables set up where fans can drop off donations. Executive Director Evan Ehlers said this is the first time Sharing Excess has worked with a band to do a direct food drive at a venue.
“They’re already making great music that people love to listen to, but you know, what if they can also use their influence to help feed the same city they’re performing in?” Ehlers said. “We thought that that would just be the best of both worlds.”
The nonprofit, which started on Drexel University’s campus in 2018 and has since grown to a nationwide operation, redistributes over 250,000 pounds of food a week, according to its website.
Mt. Joy singer and guitarist Matt Quinn said fighting food insecurity is a cause the band feels strongly about, and they were excited to get the opportunity to work with Sharing Excess.
“Whatever small platform we have to raise awareness and raise money is nice, but I think when you can actually feed people directly and feel like you’re making a direct impact … just get people to help feed people who need it. I mean, it’s such a simple but helpful thing for the city,” Quinn said.
Quinn, a Philadelphia native who now lives in the Olde Kensington neighborhood, said what makes Philly beautiful is when its “light and dark sides” meet.
“I think not to acknowledge that there’s people who are struggling and just go out and play concerts and dance around and be happy is sort of a false reality,” Quinn said. “You try to do whatever you can to help people out. I just think that’s what makes Philly a great city is the totality of the good and the bad, so hopefully we can make a difference.”
Healthy nonperishable items, like canned vegetables or soups, are what’s most desired for donations this time of year, Ehlers said, or dry goods like cereal or granola bars.
“Anything that could be a nutritional meal for a family member or a community member that could use this as supplemental support throughout their week,” he said.
Mt. Joy’s two-night run at The Mann Center takes place Saturday, Aug. 12, and Sunday, Aug. 13. General admission tickets are sold out for the first show.