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News Release
31 Years Fighting Hunger: Sunshine Division Joins 31st Annual Waterfront Blues Festival in Fighting Local Hunger - 05/08/18

31 Years Fighting Hunger

Sunshine Division Joins 31st Annual Waterfront Blues Festival
in Fighting Local Hunger


PORTLAND, OR - Waterfront Blues Festival has reaffirmed its 30-year commitment to the fight against hunger by taking on a new local partner, the Sunshine Division, which has provided emergency food and clothing to those in need for 95 years. The addition of Sunshine Division as a non-profit beneficiary will bring continued awareness to local childhood hunger issues during the summer months by raising food and funds to help families with summer food support.

The festival tradition continues July 4 – 7, 2018 at downtown Portland’s Tom McCall Waterfront Park with local and international artists lined up such as Curtis Salgado, Beth Hart, Robert Randolph & the Family Band, and George Thorogood and the Destroyers.

Since its inception in 1988, the Festival under the stewardship of Oregon Food Bank has raised over $10 million and 20 million pounds of food for hunger relief in Oregon and SW Washington. The food bank earlier this year stepped away from production responsibilities of the nation’s second-largest blues festival in order to re-focus on its core mission of hunger relief, turning over the event’s ownership and management responsibilities to its long-time production partner, Waterfront Blues Production, LLC. While Oregon Food Bank remains the primary beneficiary of the event, Festival organizers felt it important to bring in an additional non-profit partner. The Sunshine Division will help the Festival manage the hundreds of volunteers needed to run the event, and will direct a reinvigorated food drive—a central focus of the festival’s early days.

“We are thrilled to partner with both Oregon Food Bank and Sunshine Division,” said the event’s longtime Artistic Director, Peter Dammann, “This new partnership reaffirms our three-decade commitment to the region’s fight against hunger as the Festival enters its exciting next chapter.”

“We are very grateful that the Waterfront Blues Festival will continue to support hunger-relief in our community,” said Susannah Morgan, CEO of Oregon Food Bank. “The festival has a long history of giving back and its efforts have made a real and positive difference for people experiencing hunger.”

Since 1923, the Sunshine Division has been providing direct food and clothing assistance to low-income veterans, families with children, and seniors in times of economic crisis. The agency offers free food and clothing assistance six days a week at its north Portland warehouse, four days a week at their SE Stark location, and 24/7 food assistance through their partnership with the Portland Police Bureau who store food boxes at each precinct for immediate dispatch.  The Sunshine Division serves as a no-cost food bank to 20 area food assistance nonprofits, and provides special food boxes through three seasonal food box programs.

“For an organization our size,” said Sunshine Division’s Portland Police Bureau liaison, Officer Matt Tobey, “partnering with such a respected and well-known music festival and community event is a huge opportunity. We’re excited to be providing the festival volunteer support, while gaining an opportunity to share how our mission assists local families during the summer months—a time of year federally-funded free and reduced breakfast and lunch programs disappear for many children.  We’re also excited to participate in the event’s reinvigorated food drive with our collection totes and barrels on site.”

The Sunshine Division, a 95-year-old nonprofit which partners closely with the Portland Police Bureau, has a strong commitment to feeding and clothing people in need while remaining as fiscally efficient. For years the organization has maintained an unusually high efficiency rating with over 92 cents of every dollar directed toward free programs serving Portland area’s vulnerable populations and partnerships with area hunger relief agencies. Charity Navigator has rated the Sunshine Division with a 4-out-of-4 star rating six years in a row, ranking among the top 6% of all nonprofits nationally. The rating indicates low overhead and fundraising costs with high levels of effectiveness in mission and fiscal transparency.

Look for Sunshine Division barrels at each entrance to the Waterfront Blues Festival, and please contribute to help feed our hungry community members. Also, leading up to the festival during the month of June, you can drop-off non-perishable foods at Buick GMC of Beaverton (9155 SW Canyon Rd, Portland, OR 97225), a proud sponsor of the Waterfront Blues Festival.

For more information, visit www.sunshinedivision.org

About Waterfront Blues Festival

This Portland flagship festival has become a treasured tradition for locals and visitors alike, and has served as downtown Portland’s signature Fourth of July Celebration. It is the largest blues festival west of the Mississippi, the second-largest blues festival in the nation, and one of the most revered festivals of its kind in the world. It is a recipient of numerous awards, including the Memphis-based Blues Foundation’s coveted Keeping the Blues Alive Award for ‘Best Festival.’

The Waterfront Blues Festival is committed to providing a world-class event to the community of Portland and beyond that presents diverse musical arts, culture, and entertainment. The festival has been rooted in the ideals and principles of using its broad platform to create awareness and support of hunger relief efforts for 30 years. 

Major Sponsors: Buick GMC of Beaverton, Coors Light, Deschutes Brewery, FedEx, KGON, KOIN 6, Oregonian/OregonLive, Power Crunch

Supporting Sponsors: AARP, Boeing, Caring Ambassadors, Delta Music Experience, Lincoln City Visitor & Convention Bureau, Topgolf, US Outdoor

For more information, visit www.waterfrontbluesfest.com    


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