PNS Daily Newscast - July 19, 2019 

Chants of a different sort greet U.S. Rep. Omar upon her return home to Minnesota. Also on our Friday rundown: A new report says gunshot survivors need more outreach, support. Plus, sharing climate-change perspectives in Charlotte.

Daily Newscasts

A Sure Cure for the Blues

June 28, 2010

PORTLAND, Ore. - There are lots of reasons to sing the blues in Oregon. Unemployment is higher than the national average. The state ranks second in the nation for hunger. And more than one-third of Oregonians who get their meals from emergency food boxes are children.

But over the July 4th weekend, the Oregon Food Bank (OFB) is throwing a party - and inviting the world. Portland's Waterfront Blues Festival attracts people from other states and other countries. Unlike most concerts, this one isn't hosted by a big-name promoter.

Megan Lewis, OFB corporate relations and events manager, says an army of 1,500 volunteers brings the event to life.

"Oregon Food Bank owns and operates the Waterfront Blues Festival. It's our largest fundraiser of the year; it is an essential part of allowing us to meet the unprecedented demand for food in the community. We really rely on folks who come out and support the festival by making that donation at the gate."

The suggested donation is $10 plus two cans of food per person, per day. Starting Friday, 120 live performances are scheduled on five stages over four days at Waterfront Park in downtown Portland. This year's headliners include Galactic, Little Feat and Taj Mahal.

Juggling the bands and sponsors for the four-day event is a challenge, Lewis admits, but adds that dealing with the logistics involved in feeding people across Oregon and southwestern Washington has been the best possible training.

"The Oregon Food Bank network is a big, complex organization, but it's also really efficient - and that's why it's a model for a lot of other food banks around the country. It's a complicated but efficient system; I would say that the Blues Festival is very similar."

No matter where you live in Oregon or southwestern Washington, Lewis says the Blues Festival benefits your community, through a network of 20 regional food banks and more than 900 social service agencies. This is the 23rd annual Waterfront Blues Festival.

More information is available at

Chris Thomas, Public News Service - OR