The annual Giant Barbeque battle was the place to be this past weekend. It was six blocks of some of the best BBQ in the country, music, free samples, and the Oscar Meyer hot dog mobile. The event celebrates not only the art of cooking BBQ and the joy of eating but also the importance of the Capital Area Food Bank. Giant and the Capital Area Food Bank (CAFB) have been partners for 36 years, helping lead the region’s effort to stop hunger. Giant has been supporting the Food Bank since it was founded in 1980, each year helping serve food to around 12% of the region’s total population. Along with promoting the Capital Area Food Bank through the BBQ Battle, Giant has provided the food bank with over six million pounds of food and donating around $3 million to the cause. Both of their goals are to take hunger off the map. They are spreading awareness to the people that hunger is right here in our neighborhoods, all around us, impacting millions of people’s lives.

At the BBQ battle, Giant provided healthy food from Nature’s Promise, to help promote both Giant’s and The Food Bank’s idea of promoting healthy, affordable food to the entire community. Giant donates to the CAFB with high fiber foods like rice and whole-wheat pasta and lean proteins like tuna and beans. Their goal is to not only promote eating on a budget but to also increase the access people have to healthy food. At Giant’s around the region, they are starting a program in their stores to help promote healthy eating by giving customers Food Bank recipe cards to help them easily find and purchase healthy ingredients during their grocery shopping, while also being cost-efficient.

Every year this event draws thousands of people from all along the east coast. Becoming a known event around the country this festival has been named by CNN as “One of the Five Can’t-Miss Summer Festivals in the Country”, a Baltimore resident said he “comes down for [sic] it every year, to get some delicious BBQ and hear the rockin’ music.” Celebrating their 24th year the Barbecue Battle and music festival continues to gain popularity as people of all ages come to enjoy the festivities.  With a dunk tank, inflatable slide, and a giant peanut on wheels, the festival is the perfect place to bring the whole family.  The fun energetic competition of the BBQ battle keeps things lively while also ensuring that you are bound to get the best barbecue around. You can’t really get much better than walking up and down six blocks with grills full of ribs, pots full of baked beans and pulled pork sandwiches being made to your left and right.

Not only are you smelling and tasting the best BBQ you will ever have, while also enjoying great folk and blues music, you are also giving to a great cause. If you could not make it out to the event this year, there are still ways you can donate and help the Capital Area Food Bank. Anyone can volunteer or donate food or money all year round. All you have to do is go to the Food Bank website, and click give funds, give food or volunteer now.  People just like you have donated more than $2 million worth of time to help the Capital Area Food Bank takedown hunger. Help make your community a place where everyone has access to sufficient nutritious food.

Written by: Ellie Hough