by Justina Quagliata
Tables and booths lined both walls of JELD-WEN Field’s west concourse on May 8, filled with Portland’s finest food and beverages to benefit Taste of the Nation Portland.
Hosted by national nonprofit, Share Our Strength, Taste of the Nation Portland is part of its No Kid Hungry campaign, aiming to end youth hunger by 2015 through fund raising, supporting community groups and programs, educating the public and events such as Taste of the Nation Portland. In honor of the event, Mayor Sam Adams declared May 8 “No Kid Hungry Day” in Portland, encouraging others to make the No Kid Hungry Pledge.
Now in its 25th year, Taste of the Nation Portland featured over 90 local vendors at the stadium including Departure, Urban Farmer, Willamette Valley Vineyards, Deschutes Brewery and Widmer Brothers. Tickets ranged from $85 to $145 for the event. The hundreds guests slowly made their way around the concourse, sampled products, engaged with the vendors with questions and comments, and participated in the silent auction, bidding on prizes such as gift baskets and other donated items.
One in every four children faces hunger in Oregon daily. Taste of the Nation Portland raised money locally for Oregon Food Bank, Partners for a Hunger-Free Oregon, St. Vincent de Paul Food Recovery Program and Klamath-Lake Counties Food Bank.
Taste of the Nation Portland chose JELD-WEN Field for its location and space. “We like the opportunities a large, open space like JELD-WEN Field provides,” said Taste of the Nation Portland Leadership Chair Sarah Madeiros. “It was important for us to be downtown again and in the heart of Portland, especially because this is for local charities and initiatives.”