Make and enjoy music and feed the hungry

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JAKE PARRISH/Press file Luke Emerson and his son Roby play covers of songs on Sherman Avenue in Coeur d’Alene during Street Music Week in 2016.

There will be music in the streets this week throughout the region.

Street Music Week begins today and runs through Friday in downtown Spokane and downtown Coeur d’Alene.

The event features volunteer entertainers who raise money for Second Harvest Food Bank. Over the years, Street Music Week has raised more than $180,000 to help feed the area’s hungry.

“We’re hoping this year to pass the magic $200,000 mark,” said Doug Clark, a former Spokesman-Review columnist who launched Street Music Week, now in its 16th year.

“That equates to a million meals, according to Second Harvest’s formula of five meals for each donated dollar.”

Second Harvest is the region’s largest hunger relief organization providing food at no cost to people in need throughout eastern Washington and North Idaho. Funds raised through Street Music Week are critical, especially this time of year when school is out and so many families on very limited budgets must provide meals to replace school breakfast and lunch for their children.

“We are so grateful to Street Music Week organizers and all of the musicians who donate their time to raise money to help others. To everyone who puts dollars and heart in the buckets, thank you. Your donations allow Second Harvest to provide food to 55,000 children and their parents, and seniors on fixed incomes, every week,” said Second Harvest spokeswoman Julie Humphreys.

Any performers — musicians, singers, dancers — wanting to participate in Coeur d’Alene should show up a little before noon any day from Monday to Friday to check in outside The Art Spirit Gallery, 415 Sherman Ave.

After signing in, volunteers will receive a busker badge that is theirs to keep and a red bucket for donations. Then it’s up to the volunteer to head out and find a sidewalk spot to perform for an hour.

After 1 p.m., whatever donations have been collected should be returned to the check-in spot.

All entertainment genres at every skill level are welcome. Street Music Week is about generosity, not virtuosity.

There are no electrical outlets to plug in to. This is generally an acoustic event.

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