Okeechobee Music Festival partners with local non-profits to raise money, awareness

Posted at 9:17 PM, Mar 02, 2017
and last updated 2017-03-02 21:38:26-05

Thousands have made their way to Okeechobee County, as the Okeechobee Music and Arts Festival gets into full swing.

Not only is the local community benefiting from this major event, but so are local charities.
For all the fans at this year's festival, you'll be hard pressed to find bigger fans of the event that the Treasure Coast Food Bank. 
“The promoters and the folks that are putting the festival together are really highly aware of the needs of this community,” says Judy Cruz, president of the food bank.
One of those needs is proper nutrition. 
The food bank feeds 100,000 people per day in its 4 county service area. 

Last year the festival partnered with the organization - raising more than $30,000 
“There's always going to be a need,” says Gary Porter, director of Community Relations with the food bank. “And to have something of this magnitude that we can really bring awareness to is really awesome."
It's money that goes a long way. 
"For each dollar that we receive as an organization, we'll be able to provide 8 meals to the community,” Cruz says
Overall last year, the festival donated more than $100,000 to local groups.  
This year, the food bank is back with 7 other local non profits, with a goal goes beyond dollars and cents. 
“Not only raise money but raise awareness and really get a good dialog going,” Cruz says.  
The food banks says attendees are listening. 
“I think it's a generation thing,” Porter says. “I think the younger generation is more giving."
It's 40,000 strong…rocking out for a good cause. 

The food bank will have about 160 volunteers at the fest throughout the weekend. 

If you're out there, you can find many of the non profits at special area called ‘Participation Row,' where attendees can learn more information about various causes. 

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