QUINCY -- A classroom discussion back in 2014 led to an ongoing tradition that blends music with the fight against hunger.
When Danelle Batterton's psychology students at John Wood Community College wanted an opportunity to help the community, they focused on the fact that not everybody has as much as everyone else.
"Food is one of the basic needs. We felt that was the best way to ensure that our Tri-State area was fed was to pack the pantry," Batterton said.
That led to a fall effort to Pack the Pumpkin to support area food pantries and each spring's Canstock to benefit JWCC's student food pantry. Canstock 2017 will take place from 3 to 4:30 p.m. Wednesday, April 26, in the cafeteria on the lower level of the Student/Administrative Center on JWCC's main campus at 48th and Harrison.
Performances will feature Liz Bentley, who has played each Canstock, and Rachel Cooper. An open mic begins at 4 p.m. for concertgoers on a first-come, first-served basis.
Admission is a nonperishable item for JWCC's food pantry. Anyone who brings more than one item will get a raffle ticket for each additional item.
"We have such a giving, loving community that we have $400 to $500 of gift certificates and prizes to raffle off at the end of the show," Batterton said. "The more cans you bring, the more raffle tickets you get to earn a chance to win any one of the gift certificates."
Batterton described the concert as a "spinoff" from Woodstock, and it has its own T-shirt inspired by one of the historic concert's own designs.
"Instead of a person playing a guitar with a white dove on the end of the guitar, we have a hand holding a can of peas and a white dove," she said.
The T-shirts are available for $20, with proceeds going to buy more nonperishable items for local food pantries.
Last year's event collected more than 500 items.
"I hope that students are able to see they can do for not only themselves, but the community as a whole," Batterton said. "It's a hands-on opportunity to learn more about themselves, the community and what they can do."
Food pantries as far away as Shelbina, Mo., have benefited from student-organized events -- and the students benefit as much as the pantries.
"They tell me how good it makes them feel to know what they're doing is helping somebody in need," Batterton said. "It's a win-win for everyone."
For more information about Canstock 2017, contact JWCC adjunct psychology instructor Danelle Batterton at 217-641-4279 or firstname.lastname@example.org.