With the economy in a sad state of disrepair, few people are occupied with the quality of life of those beyond their immediate family. However, rock band Papa Roach has taken a different approach with their involvement in Loaves and Fishes.
Loaves and Fishes is a Sacramento-based charity dedicated to “feeding the hungry [and] sheltering the homeless,” according to their website.
Lead singer Jacoby Shaddix said that the recent financial crisis was exactly what inspired the band to get involved.
“While we were writing our latest record, we saw a lot of people falling into financial ruts,” Shaddix said in an e-mail interview. “There was an obvious a sense of desperation, so we wanted to make a socially aware record.“
“After the album came out, we noticed that the situation had gotten worse,” Shaddix said. “We knew that Loves and Fishes has been helping the homeless for years so we reached out to them and now we are trying to help any way we can.“
Shaddix mentioned that growing up with experiences of homelessness in Sacramento greatly affected his desire to be involved, eventually leading the band to meet Loaves and Fishes Executive Director Sister Libby.
“A lot of people have the misconception that being homeless is a result of drug use, mental illness or laziness, but that is not always the case,” Shaddix said.
Drawing again on the state of today’s economy, Shaddix called Sacramento “the epi-center of foreclosures in the U.S.”
He said that so many people today are homeless “because they have been laid off, had small businesses that have gone under or were led to believe that they can afford loans by people who just wanted the commissions. A lot of these peoples have families, so there are also a lot of children who are suffering.“
While on tour, Shaddix said that the band stays involved in charity work by promoting causes in interviews, on their official website and Myspace page.
Joan Burke, the director of advocacy for Loaves and Fishes, said that the organization was thrilled with Papa Roach’s continuing involvement.
“It reminds us … how many people that you wouldn’t suspect have been homeless or have had a family member who’s homeless, and that homelessness touches us all,” said Burke.
Burke said that the organization was founded because “people were hungry and they also needed human kindness.”
She recommended that people who want to get involved in the organization call Loaves and Fishes at (916) 446-0874 and attend a volunteer orientation, held every Thursday at 10 a.m. at 1321 North C. St in Sacramento. Volunteers can choose from 12 different on-site programs, including an e-mail action group on homelessness. For those without access to Sacramento, Burke urges people to reach out to local charities, food banks and shelters.
Shaddix also asked people to do what they can to help the homeless in these difficult times.
“Donate what you can, no matter how much it is; it can still go a long way,” he said. “If you don’t have money, donate things that are sitting around your house collecting dust – old clothes, sleeping bags, canned food or even your time.“
For more information on Loaves and Fishes, visit sacloaves.org.
LAURA KROEGER can be reached at email@example.com.