Musically Fed Hosts Final Drive-Through Food Distribution; Announces CMA / Musically Fed / Rhino Store

Musically Fed’s Final Drive-Through Food Distribution:
Surreal Sister Photography
– Musically Fed’s Final Drive-Through Food Distribution:
Maria Brunner of Musically Fed poses with Bill Berry of Resurrection Street Ministry, Terry Burke of Live Nation, and Jayson Adamsen of Rhino Staging

As more tour and festival announcements roll in, another promising sign that the live industry is returning is the news that nonprofit Musically Fed held its final drive-through food distribution over the weekend. The event took place at School of Rock in Scottsdale, Ariz., June 26 and provided 928 meals for those in need. 

Maria Brunner, the owner of Insight Management, started Musically Fed in 2016 in honor of her late husband, who was a proud Vietnam veteran, to repurpose unused backstage catering from concerts and festivals to donate to community organizations comprised of at least 50% veterans and who focus on feeding the homeless, hungry and food insecure.
After the coronavirus pandemic brought live events to a halt and many production professionals suddenly found themselves out of work, Musically Fed shifted its mission to distributing food to help those in the music industry who are facing food insecurities. 
Brunner initially reached out to Jake Berry of Jake Berry Productions and Jeff Giek with Rhino Staging to “discuss ways to take care of our own and ideas for keeping things going.” Charlie Hernandez from the nonprofit Just a Bunch of Roadies and supporters such as Insomniac Events’ Insomniac Cares (including Rutger Jansen) and Musically Fed board member Chad Schultz from Warner Music Group got involved and the group came up with a model for drive-thru food distributions. Musically Fed worked with Rhino to implement a system to conduct the drive-throughs as safely as possible for staff, volunteers and participants, with a focus on COVID-19 protocols.
Terry Burke, president of Southwest Music at Live Nation and one of the board members of Musically Fed, came out to Scottdale drive-through June 26 to congratulate everyone on their efforts during the pandemic. 
“Rhino Staging staffed and created the physical formula for the 20-plus drive throughs we did in Phoenix,” Brunner told Pollstar. “They also called and worked with all of the entities in the live entertainment/music industry locally to encourage them to participate in the food drives. Many times, they delivered boxes of food to those who have had to sell their cars or could not make it to the drive.” 
She added that Musically Fed would “like to thank the CMA for their support of this initiative.  Their funding allowed to keep going into the summer of 2021.” 
Musically Fed’s first drive-thru food distributions took place in Arizona and then expanded across the U.S. In addition to serving those in the live industry, Musically Fed also provided thousands of meals to depleted food pantries and nonprofits in markets including Atlanta, Minneapolis and Los Angeles. The nonprofit has also quietly helped individual families in need that have reached out directly to Musically Fed, providing them with baby supplies, pet food and other essential items.
Since the pandemic started, Musically Fed has provided more than 300,000 meals to those in need during the past 14 months, including food provided at more than 45-drive through events.  Just looking at the Phoenix and Tucson area alone, Musically Fed has provided more than 24,000 meals since April 2020. 
An announcement from Musically Fed notes while live events return and Musically Fed returns to its original mission of donating excess tour catering, the organization is “still continuing to address the effects COVID-19 has had on our live entertainment community.”   
The CMA / Musically Fed / Rhino Store is opening in late July with locations in the Phoenix, Ariz., area and Orlando, Fla., providing dry goods, protein (chicken, beef, fish, etc.) and essential items to those in need. Folks in Arizona can call (480) 894-6131 to arrange a pick-up time at Rhino Staging at 125 W. Julie Dr. in Tempe, Ariz.
Musically Fed’s upcoming tour / festival partnerships includes working with the Zack Brown Tour to donate excess catering from its 2021 outing. 
Reflecting on the past 14 months, Brunner says, “This has been one of the most rewarding relationships Musically Fed has had, working with Rhino, Just a Bunch of Roadies, Jake Berry, Insomniac, Loaves and Fishes… so many more!  Our community came together to help our community in so many cities nation-wide.  We met so many hard working, caring people and learned so much.”
Brunner – who has worked in the music business for more than three decades – was honored as one of the recipients of the Heroes of Live Award at the Pollstar Awards in Los Angeles in June. The award was given to five recipients who over the past year have gone “far above and beyond their traditional ‘day/night jobs’ to help the larger live industry and our communities in crucial ways that include altruism, advocacy, diversity and inclusivity and more.”
She was also honored as one of Pollstar’s 2021 Women of Live and named to Pollstar’s 2020 Impact 50 list as one of the Caretakers.