Sing from the Heart: Use music to feed the hungry in Federal Way

Local high school students David Kawamura, Dylan Johnson, Dallas Johnson and Jodi Kim sing Christmas carols at Top Food in December 2007. - Mirror file photo
Local high school students David Kawamura, Dylan Johnson, Dallas Johnson and Jodi Kim sing Christmas carols at Top Food in December 2007.
— image credit: Mirror file photo

TOP Food and Drug is asking local folks to put on a musical show for charity's sake.

On Dec. 10-12, all TOP Food and Haggen Food and Pharmacy stores will host the annual Sing from the Heart. The fundraiser has been held at TOP Food stores for 13 years, Haggen Incorporated spokeswoman Becky Skaggs said. For each hour a group performs holiday or winter-themed music, grocery chain owner Haggen Incorporated will donate a $50 gift card to a local food bank.

Haggen expects to donate roughly $10,000 to Washington and Oregon food banks this season, Skaggs said. In Federal Way, donations will be handed over to the Federal Way Food Bank.

Spreading cheer

Sing from the Heart gives back to the community while benefiting shoppers, performers and food banks, Skaggs said. Shoppers are generally surprised to hear local groups performing and spreading cheer at their local grocery store. Performers get a chance to hone their skills and food banks reap the benefits.

"It just adds great ambiance into the stores," Skaggs said.

Participants vary in skill and age. Organizations, quartets, choirs, families or friends are welcome to sing and perform, Skaggs said. The event attracts the likes of Girl Scout troops, but also semi-professional and professional acts, she said. Children’s groups can register for 30-minute performances. Performers must provide their own musical equipment.

"For many people, it's definitely a talent they get to share with others," Skaggs said.

Feeding Federal Way

The event did not gain ground in Federal Way last year, said Chris Sharack, Federal Way TOP Food store manager. But in other regional stores in which he has worked, the experience was positive, Sharack said.

The event traditionally takes place during busy store hours and can be quite the spectacle to watch. Some performances are astonishingly good, Sharack said. In Bellingham, school marching bands sometimes turn out, he said.

"The closest thing I can relate it to is ‘American Idol,’" he said.

All money donated from the Federal Way TOP Food will go to the Federal Way Food Bank. Terri Turner, food and clothing bank supervisor, said she was thrilled to learn of the event.

"That's fabulous. I love it," she said.

Any donations from TOP Food and Haggen will be a much needed boost for the food bank, which sees increased numbers during the holiday season. For each $50 donated, the food bank can purchase about 33 pounds of food, Turner said. About 15 people can be fed a meal for every $50 donation, she said.

Get involved

Sing from the Heart takes place at each TOP Food store the following days and times:

• 2 to 7 p.m. Friday, Dec. 10.

• Noon to 7 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 11.

• Noon to 5 p.m., Sunday, Dec. 12.

Reserve a day and time to perform by visiting the guest services counter at the TOP Food store, 31515 20th Ave. S., or call the store at (253) 839-9299. Participation in Federal Way's Sing from the Heart will be first come, first serve.

Did you know?

Haggen Inc. was founded in 1933 in Bellingham, Wash. Haggen operates 32 TOP Food and Drug and Haggen Food and Pharmacy stores in Washington and Oregon. The grocer is the largest independent grocer and sixth-largest private company based in the state of Washington.

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