Food for Christmas: a song with a heart

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December 4, 2013

Buy the Food for Christmas on iTunesFoodbank has released a Christmas song to raise much needed funds to feed the two million Australians who rely on food relief each year.

It’s at times like Christmas that we are reminded of the profound role food plays in our lives. It’s the essential ingredient for bringing families, friends and communities together to share and celebrate. Which is why it’s so heart breaking to think that there will be many this festive season who will go without.  This song aims to spread a little Christmas cheer, with every download helping us provide a meal to someone in need.”

Thanks to 4 A Cause, a group of local Geraldton musicians who wrote and recorded the song especially for Foodbank, each iTunes download of ‘Food for Christmas’ will provide a meal to a person who might otherwise go without.

The inspiration…

Producer of Food for Christmas, Dave Clare, was inspired by his own experiences when creating the song.  “I remember a Christmas when our family could barely afford to feed us as kids, let alone give presents. I never forgot that time. Now that I have children, I always make sure they know that Christmas is a time of giving, and I hope that’s a message we can spread with this song.”

“The song is an intertwining storyline of those who are struggling at Christmas and those who have forgotten what Christmas is all about and how we can help each other regain the true spirit of giving at Christmas.”

“Foodbank helps so many people around Australia and it’s amazing to see what they can do with even a small donation. The song costs less than a cup of coffee to download on iTunes, and yet buying it this Christmas will give someone more than just a meal but also the knowledge that someone cares. None of us hesitated for a second when we were given the opportunity to give something back to this great organisation.”

“It doesn’t take much money to feed a family at Christmas through Foodbank and its capabilities. So the more people who help, the more that can be helped, it’s as simple as that. Give a little to help a lot.”

Why Foodbank…

As a Rotarian Dave remembers Pat Hodges from the local Foodbank coming in and telling them the Foodbank story a few years ago. So close to Christmas a couple of years ago, Dave and a friend did a little fundraiser for Foodbank and raised about $270. He was totally astonished at the fact that that little amount could feed about 30 families at Christmas that year. It was then that the seed was sewn in his mind that, if that’s all it takes, what could he do that would be bigger, better and maybe inspire a nation.

The idea comes to life…

So he penned the lyrics to ‘Food for Christmas’ in early 2012 but didn’t have the means or resources at that stage to develop the song any further. Well 2012 wasn’t the year for it but he received further encouragement from a visitor from Canada who is involved with the Foodbank in Kelowna
BC. In early 2013 he pulled the song out and sat down with one of the most talented musicians he knew, Leon Tioke, and shared the idea with him. Leon was onto it straight away. Dave then approached another friend in Aaron Willcox to see if his studios would be willing to participate and he too jumped at it. The project was coming to life. Through their combined connections they inspired a few other muso’s to come on board and as they say…the rest is history.

The contributors…

Every aspect of the production of the song was done locally in Geraldton. The musicians are all from Geraldton and were led by Leon Tioke ( who put the music to the lyrics written by Dave Clare. Production was by Rusty Nails Entertainment Pty Ltd and mixing and sound engineering was done by Aaron Willcox of Epic Sound Studios ( The video was shot at the Foodbank warehouse in Geraldton with the involvement of staff. The video compilation was done by Nat Browning of Browning Media. The team reached out to a few other local Geraldton musicians to complete the final product including Emily Ruffin, Gavin Carvill and Deb Reader on vocals and Leon Tioke (Acoustic Guitar), Aaron Willcox (Rhythm Guitar and Bass), Gavin Carvill (Drums) and Josh Crothers (Piano). It has become Geraldton’s own “Live Aide/Band Aide”.

More on the musicians…

Leon Tioke

Leon has been involved in creating music all his life and sharing with those that matter most. From a musical background and musical family, Leon has a real love and passion for the musical arts. He is most passionate about writing songs that depict real life, good or bad and that everyone can relate to. Leon feels privileged to be involved with Foodbank and the creation of ‘Food for Christmas’ and the positive message it will spread throughout the Geraldton and global community.

Emily Ruffin

Emily has been singing as a vocalist since the age of 15. Previously in two bands, Emily has performed at many places, concerts and events in Geraldton and surrounding areas. Emily has a love for a range of different styles of music and knows how to keep audiences involved and entertained. She is a humble person that doesn’t need to become famous to make millions, but just wants to make a living out of doing what she loves, singing. Emily is a charitable person and has sung numerous times for charities without charge. Recently she won the State Karaoke Championship and competed for the Australian title in Queensland. Also Emily has performed live on Telethon a couple of years ago. Her influences throughout her life have been Mariah Carey, Killing Heidi, Whitney Houston, Beyoncé and I love Diesel and Jimmy Barnes Music.

Currently she is working on her own music and wishes to travel around Australia next year to showcase to the country what she can do.

Deb Reader

Deb does a lot of children’s entertainment as a fairy face painter and is also a singer, artist, counsellor spiritual advisor, helping others find the love within themselves. Knowing hard times but surviving, she was a young mother with two children and a husband on a low income. There were many times they had food vouchers to live on week to week. To participate in the making of this song was an honour, hopefully opening others hearts to giving, not just Christmas but every day.

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