The 'Austin Chronicle' Hot Sauce Festival 20,000 Lb. Challenge

How you can help the Capital Area Food Bank while having a blast at the 'Austin Chronicle' Hot Sauce Festival

The 'Austin Chronicle' Hot Sauce Festival 20,000 Lb. Challenge
Illustration By Jason Stout

When people ask why we throw a big ol' outdoor party on what often turns out to be one of the hottest afternoons of the summer, we readily tell them that the event was born in a farmers' market and that the key fresh ingredients in most hot sauce, peppers and tomatoes, are in season in abundance just now. At its heart, this party has always been about food – enjoying some of the most flavorful food Austin has to offer and generating food donations for our nonprofit partner, the Capital Area Food Bank. It is also an event that offers an abundance of opportunities. There's the opportunity to enjoy family fun, good food, live music, ice-cold beer, and savor a multitude of salsas. Individual entrants, restaurant cooks, and commercial bottlers have the opportunity for inspiration, competition, and promotion for their unique culinary concoctions. The most important opportunity the festival offers, however, is the one where each person who attends gets to help fight hunger in our community. According to our friends at CAFB, the festival has generated an average of 15,000 lbs. of nonperishable food items a year for the past four years. This year, we'd like to challenge all of you salsa lovers to help us reach a goal of 20,000 lbs. of food, specifically such things as tuna and other canned meats, peanut butter, canned vegetables like corn and beans, bags of rice and beans, and soups in pop-top cans. It's a very small price to pay for all the fun – and the impact of your generosity will be felt long after the party is over. Come early, stay late, eat salsa, drink beer ... but, most importantly, BRING CANNED FOOD. For a pullout guide to the Austin Chronicle Hot Sauce Festival, see centerfold.

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