Pearl Jam Donate $50,000 To ‘Blessings in a Backpack’ Program
Pearl Jam celebrated a special anniversary in September when they rolled into Alpine Valley's Music Theater in Wisconsin for their PJ20 festival, and now they have something special planned for needy children in the area. The band has pledged to donate $50,000 to Blessings in a Backpack, an organization that provides weekend meals for students who qualify for the federal Free and Reduced Lunch Program.
That pledge will benefit about 250 children at Wileman Elementary School of the Delavan-Darien School District, a district in the southeastern region of Wisconsin with a high number of economically disadvantaged students. Each Friday during the school year, Blessings in a Backpack sends eligible students home from school with a small bag packed with food like canned meals and vegetables, oatmeal, fruit snacks, granola bars and juice boxes.
The $50,000 grant, which comes via Pearl Jam's Vitalogy Foundation charity organization, will provide enough funds to keep the program running in the region for three years, says school district spokesman Mike Heine. "We expect the program to start the first weekend after the winter break," he said.
Pearl Jam's PJ20 concerts were a roaring success, with a lineup that included the Strokes, Queens of the Stone Age, Mudhoney and a slew of others acts. As with most PJ events, $2 from every tickets sold benefited the Vitalogy Foundation.