Portland's Waterfront Blues Festival wrapped up Sunday night, after a sun-drenched run that started on the Fourth of July. The festival means more for some than music and fireworks.
The event is the Oregon Food Bank’s largest fundraiser. The cash and canned goods it brings in help the Food Bank kick off its fiscal year.
This year that boost will be sorely needed. Statewide need for emergency food is up 10 percent since this time last year, and up 13 percent in Portland.
Spokeswoman Jean Kempe-Ware says the food bank may not be able to keep up with the demand forever.
"I think the entire network is concerned that if we continue to see this growing need and it continues to grow at this pace, than it is unsustainable," Kempe-Ware said.
And the food bank has had to do more with less. The Federal Department of Agriculture has cut almost two-thirds of its aid to the Oregon Food Bank in the last year. The organization dipped into its financial reserves for the first time to make up for the gap.
Kempe-Ware says that the food bank expects even higher demand for aid in the upcoming year.