UPDATE! We have a winner for the Taste of the Nation tickets. Thanks for playing!
It comes around every year—this time Share Our Strength's 25th annual Taste of the Nation will land at JELD-WEN Field on Tuesday, May 8. I got to meet Rachel Bell, TotN's marketing representative, and asked her for some information about the event, as well as for two free passes—which, of course, we will pass on to a lucky Blogtown reader and his/her date! That's a $170 value, folks... but seriously, the $85/head admission buys you access to over 75 amazing Portland food and drink experiences, and doesn't cost more than dinner at some of the more expensive joints in town. And 100% of the ticket sales and auction earnings go to a great cause. Some wisdom from Rachel about why you should buy a ticket and instructions on how to be the winner after the jump.
What foundations do the Share Our Strength events support?
Oregon Food Bank, St. Vincent de Paul Food Recovery Program, Klamath-Lake Counties Food Bank, and Partners For a Hunger-Free Oregon (more details about these organizations and their missions is located here.)
You quoted some incredible statistics about hunger in our own state at the preview event. Can you help shock Blogtown into shelling out for a couple tickets with those facts?
More Than 625,000 Oregonians are food insecure.
One in four children in Oregon goes to bed hungry every night.
Oregon is one of the top 5 hungriest states in the nation.
Hunger costs Oregon about 1.2 billion a year. Hunger causes lower academic and economic productivity and hunger related- illness are an added cost to our health care system.
Hunger in rural areas of the state is often the worst sometimes reaching 24%.
Over 1 million pounds of food was distributed to Oregonians last year through food boxes.
What drove the decision to move the event to Jeld-Wen Field?
Over the past 25 years Taste of the Nation Portland has had a number of different event homes, varying in size and type. For the 25th anniversary we wanted to be able to expand the footprint of the event to include even more of the best food, wine, beer and spirits our area has to offer. JELD-WEN Field had recently launched their event spaces and we thought this could be a unique home for Taste of the Nation. The Timbers and JELD-WEN Field have worked hard to create a very Portland brand and feel an it worked well with our emphasis on local purveyors. We are excited to be one of the first to hold an event of this size in the concourse space at JELD-WEN Field.
What restaurant are you most excited to see at the event?
I look forward to seeing them all! I'm always excited to see new restaurants come on board with the event—and love that some of my favorites return year after year with exciting new offerings. This year, I'm thrilled to see the expansion of the GEM offerings from 5 restaurants to 6 and we're upping the food cart presence to three this year.
So here's how you play, Blogtown. Send your name via e-mail here with "TASTY!" in the subject line by tomorrow (Friday) at noon and our lovely editor will pick one lucky winner at random. For everyone else—buy one less slingshot or whatever you spend your money on after rent and help out hungry kids in Oregon. It'll taste really good.