Dancing for Food: Dance event raises $40K for Utah Food Bank

Published: Saturday, March 8 2014 7:45 p.m. MST

Elite Academy dancers perform to 'I Need A Doctor' in the Intermediate Hip Hop category of the "Will Dance For Food" competition at Taylorsville High School on Saturday, March 8, 2014. Proceeds and donations from the event will be presented to the Utah Food Bank. Penny Broussard, director of the event, said $40,000 total was raised.

Matt Gade, Deseret News

More than one thousand dancers from 18 Utah dance studios took part in the "Will Dance for Food" competition at Taylorsville High School Saturday and presented $40,000 raised through the event to the Utah Food Bank. Penny Broussard started the Will Dance for Kids Project three years ago, after retiring from more than two decades working with the dance community. She said she chose the Utah Food Bank as the beneficiary of the event's proceeds because 98 cents of every dollar donated goes to food and because it allows fortunate kids — participants range in age from four to 18 — to help those who are less fortunate. The donated funds are specifically used for the Utah Food Bank's Kid's Cafe and BackPack programs. "The statistics on childhood hunger are staggering," Broussard said. "One in five Utah kids don't know where the next meal is coming from." This was the event's third year and fundraising efforts began in October. The first year, $15,000 was raised. Last year, it was $35,000. "I never thought we would make it above $35,000 and here we are at $40,000 ... It almost makes me cry every time I say it out loud," Broussard said, noting that it takes the help of many, including sponsors and volunteers, to make the event happen. "Everyone is working together to make a difference. It's just amazing."

Email: emorgan@deseretnews.com

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