Noteworthy nonprofit rallies Austin music and tech communities to fight hunger
Nothing says Austin quite like live music, a startup mentality, and the desire to help others. MusicTechandFood.org embodies all three. The volunteer-based nonprofit links the music and tech communities with food relief organizations in Austin.
Co-founder and executive director Jake Sussman officially launched the nonprofit in April. With a background in tech and a love for live music, he saw an opportunity to leverage the philanthropic nature of those sectors.
"Mission No. 1 is a hunger relief organization. No. 2 is building a community between music and tech," Sussman says. "I had never really seen a community between these three before. So that's kind of exciting — building a community around a desire to give back."
MusicTechandFood.org helps local tech businesses, live music venues, and concert promoters host food drives and collect donations for nonprofits like the Capital Area Food Bank of Texas. Currently, the organization can collect donations at a concert or manage a week-long food drive at a business. At the first concert-based drive in early May, MusicTechandFood.org raised enough money for Johnson's Backyard Garden to donate 240 pounds of fresh produce to SafePlace Women's Center and the The Settlement Home for Children.
Other local organizations partnering with MusicFoodTech.org include Spredfast, Idean, Civitas Learning, Mosaic Sound Collective, The Parish, Feeding Texas, and the Sustainable Food Center.
"We have seen firsthand the giving power of the tech and music communities and are excited to partner with an organization whose mission combines the impact of two strong sectors to fight food insecurity," said Mark Jackson, chief development officer of Capital Area Food Bank, in a press release.
Sussman hopes to add more community events, workshops, and education on food security as the nonprofit grows. But it doesn't stop there — the Austin-based organization also has plans to launch in Los Angeles and Denver in 2017.