On Dec. 14, the Santa Cruz community will have a chance to give to children in need. Organized by Grind Out Hunger, the Holiday Grind Food Drive will take place at The Blue Lagoon at 9 p.m., where attendees can enjoy live music and make donations of canned food and money to help local children.

Since its inception in 2003, the organization’s Holiday Grind Food Drive has collected one million pounds of food through community fundraisers to fight the plight of poverty.

Grind Out Hunger empowers youths by appealing to their passion in surfing, skateboarding, snowboarding and music in order to fight against childhood hunger and malnutrition. Danny Keith, who founded the organization in 2003, said they use action sports and music to teach kids about advocacy, community and purpose. The organization reaches out to youths involved in action sports or who have faced hunger themselves through events such as “skate jams” and benefit concerts.

“The kids are what really drives Grind Out Hunger and their passion and dedication to the community,” Keith said. “Together they’ve raised almost two million meals for the community of Santa Cruz County.”

Keith, who owns the Santa Cruz Skate and Surf Shop, founded the organization when the Second Harvest Food Bank set up a barrel for donations in front of his shop. Forty-five percent of Second Harvest’s clients are children, and Keith was shocked to find out that children in the Santa Cruz County were hungry and malnourished. He began going to schools to raise awareness among children.

“Our mission statement is to empower the youth by utilizing the passion of skateboarding, surfing, snowboarding and music to take leadership in the fight against childhood hunger and malnutrition,” he said.

Spinfarm, a local Salinas band, will be one of three bands performing at the upcoming event. This is the band’s fourth time performing for a Grind Out Hunger show, which take place more than once a year.

Spinfarm has been playing at local Santa Cruz venues like The Catalyst and The Blue Lagoon for the two years they have been together. The band’s lead singer and drummer Adam Stafford contacted Keith, made arrangements and promoted the Blue Lagoon show as a Grind Out Hunger event.

“I have an interest in [the cause] just because of being a parent,” Stafford said.

Stafford, who has lived in Santa Cruz for 20 years, said in between working as a purchaser/bulk commodities buyer at Sunridge Farms and being a parent, he now plays in the band for fun.

“I’m still young at heart, and I’m going to keep playing,” he said. “I believe in this cause too. I feel like it’s a really good cause.”

Stafford said they call the band’s genre of music lo-fi desert rock, but it can also be classified as hard rock. Two other bands, Noise Clinic and The Gillbillies, will also be performing at The Holiday Grind Food Drive.

Grind Out Hunger raises awareness by selling merchandise such as wristbands, t-shirts and stickers. This merchandise will be on sale at The Holiday Grind Food Drive. Grind Out Hunger works with Second Harvest Food Bank to ensure these proceeds will go to feeding hungry children in Santa Cruz.

“We’re kind of layering in giving back and paying attention to people,” Stafford said.


For more information on Grind Out Hunger and Blue Lagoon events, go to www. grindouthunger.org and