Bob Dylan takes on hunger

Dec 20, 2009 @ 12:01 am

By Bruce Kelly

The spiritual message of Bob Dylan's soulful ditty about fate and consequences, “Gotta Serve Somebody,” is taking on a more down-to-earth meaning this year.

Using a donor-advised fund, Mr. Dylan's record label, Columbia/Epic, is channeling international royalties from his new album, “Christmas in the Heart,” to a British charity that serves meals to the homeless.

The overseas charity, Crisis of London, intends to deliver 15,000 meals to homeless people in Britain over the Christmas holiday.

The group establishing the fund, CAFAmerica, said it appears to be the first time a donor-advised fund will be used to channel the royalties from sales of a major music recording to charitable foundations.

When Mr. Dylan released “Christmas in the Heart” in October, he said that most of the U.S. royalties from the album would be donated to Feeding America, a U.S. charity.

CAFAmerica said that Mr. Dylan's album had so far raised $125,000 in overseas royalties that will be donated through the donor-advised fund.

“The problem of hunger is ultimately solvable,” Mr. Dylan said in a statement. That “means we must each do what we can to help feed those who are suffering and support efforts to find long-term solutions,” he said.

The album hit No. 1 on Billboard's U.S. Holiday Albums chart and its U.S. Folk Albums chart. “Christmas in the Heart” is the 47th album from Mr. Dylan.

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