Eats and EDM
Electronic Dance Music (EDM) concerts and food festivals may just have become the Phi-Sigma chapter’s (California Polytechnic State University) new favorite combination.
While it might seem like an interesting pairing for a philanthropy event to the outsider, the first annual Lambda Chi Alpha Feeding America FOOD Festival went off without a hitch on March 11.
The event was hosted by the Avila Beach Golf Resort in San Luis Obispo and featured several EDM DJs, along with food vendors from around the area. Each vendor donated 15-25 percent of their profits to the Food Bank Coalition of San Luis Obispo (SLO Food Bank).
According to High Theta, Matthew Meredith, this idea to bring together philanthropy and a festival atmosphere stemmed from his work with the Make-A-Wish Foundation last year. With the help of Chi Omega sorority, Meredith was able to host a similar event, generating over 7000 dollars for Make-A-Wish. The senior says the concert took many hours of planning and labor, but the outcome was what got him hooked.
So when a concert could not be planned for Make-A-Wish this year, Meredith decided why not take this idea and donate to Lambda Chi’s own philanthropy?
Meredith still wanted a music festival atmosphere, so invitations went out to all sororities and fraternities to join the cause to support the efforts of the SLO Food Bank. Each backing Greek organization hosted a booth, allowing festival-goers to explore the many different philanthropic events associated with Greek life.
On the big day of the festival, and one that Meredith described as “the perfect day”, Greek and community members alike came to enjoy good food and good music.
“Everyone had an awesome time, everyone loved it,” said Meredith. “It was so much fun having the live music along with the food; SLO Food Bank was there and had a booth so people got to learn about what the food bank does, which was awesome to see.”
The SLO Food Bank recorded 230 dollars in direct donations from the event, and Meredith hopes this trend continues in the future. Although not as many Greek organizations participated as Meredith hoped, he believes this is a turning point in Greek collaboration for the community around Cal Poly.
“Last year, Cal Poly Greek life raised almost a half a million dollars, which is so incredible, but no one collaborated together and that’s unfortunate, but it doesn’t always have to be that way and we can change it,” said Meredith. “This was the first event where I feel like we started to do that and this event can hopefully be for years to come an event where we bring people together to show that we are all on the same team.”
Meredith went on to say that with this event, he wanted to remind brothers and community members that the main goal should be philanthropy, but a little fun never hurt as well.
In years to come, Meredith hopes that his chapter can continue the Feeding America FOOD Festival and continue to give back to a community in a unique way.