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1 in 5 children in Chicago are hungry. When the three high school girls who make up the indie folk trio Me, You & Her heard that statistic they were shocked.
They were in the middle of recording their first album together, a 6-song EP of some of their favorite holiday songs titled, A Lil' More Christmas, when they decided to try to do something about it. They contacted the Greater Chicago Food Depository and asked if they could donate a song, to offer as a free download to anyone who donates to the food bank during the holidays.
The trio, made up of Alaina Stacey, Hannah Rand, and Olivia Harris, were inspired to do this when they learned that $1 can feed a hungry person in Chicago for an entire day. Lincoln Park High School sophomore, Olivia Harris said.
"That's what it costs to buy a song on iTunes. Most of the people I know buy songs on iTunes all the time. So we thought it would be great if you could give that dollar to feed someone instead, and still get a song."
The Greater Chicago Food Depository liked the idea and set up a special donation page at www.chicagosfoodbank.org/meyouher for those who want to donate and receive a free download of the band's rendition of the holiday classic "We Wish You A Merry Christmas."
"This holiday season arrives as the need for food assistance reaches record levels in Cook County," said Kate Maehr, executive director and CEO of the Greater Chicago Food Depository. "This thoughtful initiative by Me, You & Her is a wonderful example of young, creative people joining the fight against hunger in their community."
"We Wish You a Merry Christmas is this great little song we all sing every year but if you really look at it, it's actually all about people sharing their food and helping each other out," Whitney Young High School senior, Alaina Stacey said.
"We started recording this album because we all love to sing together and who doesn't love Christmas music? But then we realized this might be a way to help make the holidays happier, for everyone in Chicago," Oak Park River Forest High School senior Hannah Rand added. A Lil' More Christmas, is available on iTunes and features holiday favorites like O Holy Night, Let It Snow and I'll Be Home for Christmas, but the EP does not include We Wish You A Merry Christmas. That is only available with a donation to Greater Chicago Food Depository.
With lush harmonies and simple instrumentation behind them -- guitar, stand up bass, box drum, accordion -- the vocals on the album were all arranged by the high school girls who met and started singing together at LaSalle Street Church, on the near north side of Chicago. The church is home to a program called Breaking Bread, which receives support from Greater Chicago Food Depository, and has been serving a meal to the hungry and homeless one night a week, for over nine years. The girls have helped out at Breaking Bread through the years, sometimes by singing for the guests there. Harris said, "Volunteering at Breaking Bread made me realize how important it is to give whatever you can. No gift is too small."
"Most of the time you feel like you can't do anything about problems in the world, but even if you only donate a dollar, you've done something, Something that will actually make a difference," Rand said. Stacey added. "Feeding someone for a whole day for what you'd spend to buy a song…that's amazing."
You can learn more about how you can help end hunger in the Chicago area at the Greater Chicago Food Depository's website. To learn more about Me, You & Her, follow them on Facebook, https://www.facebook.com/MeYouHerBand. To donate and receive the free download of "We Wish You a Merry Christmas," go to www.chicagosfoodbank.org/meyouher