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Life Arts

Rock and Wrap It Up's Creative Approach to Hunger

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     In November 2013, we spoke on sustainability and poverty, at the International Hotel, Motel and Restaurant Show at the Javits Convention Center in NYC. New hotels have signed on to donate toilet paper rolls, tissue boxes, shampoos and conditioners and keep them out of land fill.

     Our most exciting new initiative to empower teacher and students, as well as partner donors, is our new phone application which is under development. The Rock and Wrap It Up! Whole Earth Calculator will use our embedded formulas to convert pounds of food donated into number of meals and GHG emission reduction numbers. It will help advocates of sustainability to have handy tools to reinforce food donation through projects in schools, sports, films, hotels and music. Many of our partners want to co-brand the phone app with us.

     We have so much more to do to help reduce poverty here and across our planet.

JB: Thank you for the comprehensive rundown, Syd. I am always so impressed by the many new and creative ways you find to deal with poverty and hunger. The involvement of professional sports teams and rock bands would increase your visibility considerably. How do we translate that into getting the funds you need to do the wonderful and necessary work you do?

SM: Sadly, we have not been as successful in fund-raising as we have been in getting our partners to donate food. We are dependent on individual donors. Many of the teams have foundations but it takes years to replace charities that are already in the queue. They are willing to send us signed items for auction but they do not have the value in cities other than where the teams are. We have not had success with getting donations from bands.

We do two fundraising events a year. We chair the Lena and Joseph Mandelbaum Humanitarian Dinner where we honor partners who have helped increase our goals of reducing poverty. We publish a Journal where ads are purchased. We also run a Golf Outing each summer. Our annual budget is $450,000. We need to hire more people to grow our successful programs.

Matisyahu and Allman Bros. Warren Haynes talk about RWU at MSG
(image by Rock and Wrap It Up!)

JB: Maybe you could put an ask out there for a retired grant-writer, Syd. Is there any foundation money floating around waiting to be snatched up by an organization such as RWU?

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SM: If any of your readers have a fund-raising/grant writing background and can donate their time and expertise to our charity, their efforts will help us grow faster. Poverty continues to be the scourge of society. The quality of everyones life increase and enriches when we reduce the number of those living in poverty.

JB: Or, what about putting a virtual suggestion box for your donors and admirers on your website? Maybe someone has some good ideas about how to crack this nut. Without funding, even RWU can't keep doing miracles.

SM: If you mention our website and phone number, they can reach out to us*. Also your readership can follow us on Facebook and Twitter @rockywrap.

JB: Okay, readers. You've got what you need if you'd like to support this very worthwhile organization that is fighting hunger and poverty so creatively. I hope you get inundated by grant-writers who want to help, Syd. Thanks so much for talking with me again. It's always a pleasure!

volunteers prepare Thanksgiving feast
(image by Rock and Wrap It Up!)
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Reducing the Planet's Poverty Footprint While Reducing Society's Carbon Footprint


* Contact Rock and Wrap It Up!: PHONE: 516-295-0670; TOLL-FREE: 1-877-691-FOOD (3663), EMAIL: ; website:

previous interviews with Syd:
How Syd Mandelbaum and Rock and Wrap It Up! Fight Hunger 2/10/2010

Part Two: How Syd Mandelbaum and Rock and Wrap It Up! Fight Hunger 2/10/2010 

Catching Up with Syd Mandelbaum of Rock and Wrap It Up! 4/27/2011

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Joan Brunwasser is a co-founder of Citizens for Election Reform (CER) which since 2005 existed for the sole purpose of raising the public awareness of the critical need for election reform. Our goal: to restore fair, accurate, transparent, secure elections where votes are cast in private and counted in public. Because the problems with electronic (computerized) voting systems include a lack of (more...)

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