April 02, 2012 1:32pm PT by Rebecca Ford
'The Voice': Behind the Scenes at L.A. Food Bank (Video)
The contestants of The Voice have been busy preparing for their first week of live shows, which begin on Monday, April 2. But they took some time out from their busy days of rehearsals to give back, volunteering at the Los Angeles Food Bank.
The Hollywood Reporter tagged along as the 24 contestants helped package food at the food bank in downtown Los Angeles, and spoke to the aspiring singers about their plans for the live shows.
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Jamar Rogers from Team Cee Lo was happy to be volunteering because that’s what he does full-time back in New York.
“I just have a heart for people, and that’s one of the reasons I auditioned for this show. Not just for fame’s sake, but to shed attention and light on people who are really hurting, and are in need,” he told THR.
Rogers said it was a pleasant surprise to get to work at the L.A. Food Bank while competing on The Voice. The event, held on March 29, was to kick off the second annual Starbucks Global Month of Service.
“I would just like to encourage people that in order to take their mind off their own issues and their own problems, it really helps to serve,” he said. “It changes your perspective. You begin to realize that your life isn’t as messed up as you think it is.”
As for performing in the live shows, Rogers said he is “beyond ready.”
“When you’re doing what you’re born to do, you don’t get nervous,” he said.
Several of the contestants have experience volunteering in their own hometowns. RaeLynn, the 17-year-old country crooner from Team Blake, told THR she volunteers at her church back home.
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“It’s really cool to give back, because they’ve done so much for us, making our dreams come true, so why can’t we help others make their dreams come true,” she told THR.
While she wouldn’t reveal what song she’s got planned for her live performance, she did say that it is one of the judges’ own songs.
Ashley De La Rosa from Team Christina, who is also 17 years old, said she also does a lot of volunteering at home. She has helped out with local food and clothing drives at home, and worked with Second Harvest Food bank.
As for the live shows, she said she loves her song. “I kind of came into the show picking not-so-well-known songs, so I’m trying to find some stuff that the audience can identify with more, because it’s mostly up to them,” she told THR about her game plan for winning over America.
Also from Team Christina, Chris Mann said he has actually done a food drive at a local Kansas food shelter in his hometown. “One thing people may not know about me is I’m an Eagle Scout,” he told THR. “So this is kind of bringing back some memories.”
In 2011 the L.A. Food Bank distributed 60 million pounds of food to more than one million individuals in Los Angeles County.
Global Month of Service projects are being held around the world, and each project is focused on the unique needs of that neighborhood.