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Oregonians Singing the Red, White and Blues-All for a Good Cause

July 5, 2007

For two decades, Oregonians have been singing the blues for hunger, and this year is no different. The 20th annual Safeway Waterfront Blues Festival is underway on Portland's waterfront. The world renowned festival draws acts and fans from around the world and last year raised over 34 million pounds of food for hungry families in Oregon. Rachel Bristol with Oregon Food Bank says a drop in the federal food contributions has them hoping to more than triple food donations this year.

“[We want to] get through the summer months a little bit more smoothly while we’re regrouping and doing everything we can to increase the food supply available.”

The largest blues festival west of the Mississippi runs through Sunday and typically brings over 120,000 fans from across the state and around the world to Portland.

Bristol explains that a decrease in the amount of food coming from the federal government has local food banks looking for new sources of food.

“We've really been struggling to keep the food supply up in order to meet the high level of need. So, this festival is more important than ever.”

Dondrea Warner/Eric Mack, Public News Service - OR