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Groundwork 2001: anti-hunger events in the United States


Groundwork 2001, a week-long series of concerts and community activities in Seattle, Washington, will be the first North American event in support of FAO's TeleFood campaign to reduce world hunger.

The concerts, organized by Groundwork 2001 on behalf of the United States Committee for FAO, will take place from 14 to 22 October. They will feature world-renowned musicians such as REM, Michael Franti & Spearhead, Pearl Jam, Alanis Morissette, Dave Matthews, Emmylou Harris, Mana, Wallflowers, Blind Boys of Alabama, Joe Strummer, Artis the Spoonman and many more.

"Food is our most intimate link with the earth," says the singer Madonna, Honorary Chair of the Groundwork 2001 Advisory Committee. "The lack of food cuts to the core of our dignity; its greatest casualty is hope. Together, we can ensure that Groundwork 2001 brings long overdue awareness to practical solutions to the fight against hunger."


"The first casualty of hunger is hope," says the singer Madonna, Honorary Chair of the Groundwork 2001 Advisory Committee. "And the most subversive act you can perform is on behalf of someone's sense of hope. It's shameful how little it really takes to help, and how easily we are all discouraged from doing so. Groundwork has opened a door for a lot of us to do something meaningful and it's criminal not to walk through it."

Proceeds from Groundwork 2001 concerts, broadcasts, merchandise and Webcast will support small-scale farming and food production projects around the world. Groundwork 2001 will also help build public awareness in the run-up to FAO's World Food Summit: five years later, to be held in Rome, Italy, 5-9 November 2001 at FAO headquarters. The Summit will review progress towards the goal of cutting by half the number of the world's hungry children, women and men by 2015.

"It is fitting that Groundwork 2001 will take place in Seattle," says FAO Director-General Jacques Diouf. "Washington state is not only known for its information technology industry and acclaimed artists but also for its advanced work in sustainable agriculture."

All artists are donating their performances and pledging their support to this grassroots fight against global hunger.

" I deeply believe that these concerts will re-ignite and enlarge the constituency to end world hunger -- not by food aid, but by growing food", says Jack Healey, chief Groundwork 2001 organizer.

Across North America and around the world, people will have the opportunity to participate in Groundwork 2001's Seattle events by viewing the global satellite television broadcast and visiting the virtual stadium and Web site: Previous TeleFood events have been seen by over 500 million people in 80 countries around the world. US$ 8 million has been collected since the campaign began in 1997.

9 August 2001

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