Rock and Wrap It Up! Keeps Rocking

Aerosmith is helping Rock and Wrap it Up! in its mission of “reducing the planet’s poverty footprint while reducing society’s carbon footprint” by letting the organization use the band’s logo and name in its Whole Earth Calculator (WEC) Climate Literacy Lesson Plans.

“Rock and Wrap It Up!, much like Aerosmith, continues to inspire generations of music lovers,” CEO and founder Syd Mandelbaum told Pollstar.

This month marks the 25th anniversary of the first food recovery at Jones Beach Theatre in Wantagh, N.Y. A few years after promoter Ron Delsener gave Mandelbaum the go-ahead to donate the venue’s leftover catered food to local soup kitchens, the idea expanded on a national level to be included in bands’ tour riders. Rock and Wrap It Up! also works with schools, sports teams, the film and entertainment industry, and hospitals to recover food that has been prepared but not served. Several hotel chains have also partnered with the non-profit to donate toiletries. 

Since launching the anti-hunger agency, which has evolved into an anti-poverty think tank, Rock and Wrap It up! has fed more than a billion people and kept a billion pounds of food and other reusable assets out of landfills.

Aerosmith was one of the first bands to add Rock and Wrap It Up! to its rider in 1994. The band has continued its support by signing guitars for auctions and speaking out about the organization. Mandelbaum notes that he considers the bad boys of Boston one of Rock and Wrap It Up’s founding fathers.

Rock and Wrap It Up! recently published a new series of school lesson plans – the Whole Earth Calculator (WEC) Climate Literacy Lesson Plans – to “heighten the correlation of reducing poverty/hunger and the carbon footprint while students learn climate literacy.”

“When we approached [Aerosmith] to join us with the lesson plan we reached out directly to Joe Perry and the band came back and said they would love to not only endorse the lesson plan but be part of it,” Mandelbaum told Pollstar. “In the lesson plan is a math example which uses food recovery statistics that are then used by students to figure out how much greenhouse gas was saved and how many people were fed. … We’re able to use the actual figures that we’ve had from some of our pick-ups with them.”

If you do the math you’ll see that if 500 pounds of food from Aerosmith’s tour is donated to Rock and Wrap It Up!, it will provide roughly 417 meals for hungry children. Donating the food to local homeless shelters and soup kitchens rather than throwing the food in a landfill will prevent 272 pounds of CO2e (carbon dioxide equivalent) from escaping into the environment.

The Whole Earth Calculator is based on information from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and USDA.

Students can use the WEC mobile app to share the results on social media, inspiring others to do their part to help feed the hungry and reduce greenhouse gases.    

Syd Mandelbaum poses with U.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy during a White House event highlighting the U.S. Global Change’s recent report.

The most recent bands to partner with Rock and Wrap It Up! on their respective tours include longtime supporters Black Sabbath and Phish. Black Sabbath’s final tour runs through September, while Phish’s next U.S. tour is scheduled June-September. The “Hits Deep Tour” headlined by TobyMac donated catering from its February-April excursion, totaling 536 pounds of food.

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