How I first connected with Cathedral Kitchen
Two years ago, the school where I teach partnered with the Cathedral Kitchen, a "soup kitchen" and much more in Camden, NJ, to teach our students about giving back through a series of service projects. Over the past two years, because of the Cathedral Kitchen and its staff, I have seen the efforts of true kindness and it has absolutely changed the way I look at the world as a whole.
A few quick facts about them...
-In 2015, the Cathedral Kitchen served about 100,000 meals
-Guests are not charged, and and no one is ever turned away
-The Kitchen also delivers meals to local after-school programs and groceries to low-income senior centers, and more
-They are currently the largest emergency food provider in Camden, NJ
-Cathedral Kitchen operates a culinary arts training program where about 60 students per year learn skills in the industry and leave as employable workers
-They provide free dental care and general health screenings on site
How I am trying to help
In an effort to help out in my own way, I wanted to compose a piece of music that not only directly benefits the Cathedral Kitchen, but also generates awareness for this awesome organization. Spare Change actually came to life a few months back while I was cleaning out my car and found a bag of change. From working with the Kitchen, I knew that a small bag like that could feed several people, and I was unintentionally taking it for granted. So I dropped what I was doing and began improvising using the coins as a sound source as well as an added color while striking the drum in the normal manner. Before I knew it, I had several ideas sketched out and began piecing it together, using improvisation as the connective tissue.
Once Spare Change is released, I will donate 50% of all sales to the Cathedral Kitchen. So anybody who plays it will be making a difference. To give you an idea of costs, each meal served up at the Cathedral Kitchen costs about four dollars, so for every piece sold approximately two people will be able to eat. My goal is to raise $1300 with this initiative, which would cover a complete meal service for a day - that's 325 meals.
Thanks for taking the time to read and please share on social media to help me spread the word about this organization!
Anthony Di Bartolo is a New Jersey-based percussionist, composer, and educator.