PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — The Sunshine Division, which is the beneficiary of this year’s Waterfront Blues Festival, is most well known for its holiday food boxes but they say the need is even greater in the summer.
“Hunger isn’t seasonal,” Sunshine Division director Kyle Camberg said.
More than 100,000 children in the metro area get free or reduced meals at school.
“That’s over 100,000 families that are likely going to struggle in the summer,” Camberg said.
Student who qualify are served breakfast and lunch at school — but when school is out — those families have to look elsewhere for food.
“That’s why our work and that’s why having people host food drives and make contributions during the summer is critical to what we do,” Camberg said.
The Sunshine Division knows the fans of the Waterfront Blues Festival will fill that need.
“So being down there at the Blues Festival with all those thousands of people and such a great event its a huge opportunity for us not just to raise awareness about what we do but also literally fill a couple truckloads full of food, which is fantastic,” Camberg said.
The pantry shelves will be restocked and families will get to shop in the Sunshine Division market — choosing the food that works best for their family — for free.
“So whether it’s donating your time to volunteer, donating food into a barrel, whether it’s at the Blues Festival or during a food drive or making a cash contribution to us you — can know that your contribution is going to go towards feeding and clothing people that are in crisis,” Camberg said.
The Sunshine Division is looking for non-perishable items like pasta, dry beans, tuna fish, rice, caned soups and chili.
Look for the big blue barrels at any of the entrances to the Blues Festival to make a donation.