The Utah Shakespeare Festival has taken action to help families in need this holiday season. Throughout the 2012 fall season, southern Utah residents were able to participate in the ninth annual food drive. Thanks to the generosity of the surrounding community, the Festival was able to donate 6,751 pounds of food to the Iron County Care and Share facility, which is the largest amount of food ever donated by the Festival-about three and a half times more than last year.
"The food drive for the Iron County Care and Share is a great cause that brings awareness to the hunger problems we have here in southern Utah, " said Sara Greener, Festival guest services manager. "Guests of the Festival enjoy participating and often come back to the theatre just to drop off food regardless of the discount we offer."
A major reason the Festival inspired such wonderful generosity in its guests this season is that it coincides with one of the themes in Les Misérables; helping others less fortunate than us. The production was one of the most popular shows ever produced at the Festival.
"Utah Shakespeare Festival patrons went above and beyond in their support of Iron County Care and Share during the fall season food drive to help stock our pantry shelves," said Joy Jankowiak, executive director of the Iron County Care and Share. "ICCS relies primarily on donations to assist with its hunger relief efforts, and the food gathered through the Shakespeare Festival accounted for almost 20% of the total community food donations we received in September and October."
For the fall season, the Festival offered discounts to theatergoers who donated at least six nonperishable food items. Local residents were able to see any Monday through Thursday production this fall for half price with the food donation.
"We would not be able to serve as many families in need without the generosity of partners like the Utah Shakespeare Festival; thank you for helping us continue to meet our mission and alleviate poverty in our community," Jankowiak said.
The Iron County Care and Share still needs help feeding families this holiday season. They also welcome volunteers to assist them. You can visit the Iron County Care and Share at 222 West 900 North in Cedar City, or by calling (435) 586-4962. According to the Iron County Care and Share, "food drives raise awareness of hunger in the community, collect food for people in need and play an essential role in the fight against hunger."