Giving Hunger the Blues is canceled. The festival has been around since 1996 as a fundraiser for local charities; this would have been its 19th year. During its longevity, founder George Generoso says the live music fundraiser has raised more than $1 million.
Generoso, owner of The 5 O’Clock Club, started the festival when he was 40-years-old. He explains the cancellation is rooted in his lack of motivation.
He thinks the blues community has been great and supportive. He says that All Faith Food Banks (the primary charity) has been great and responsive. The only change is that he doesn’t have the energy to put the six months of planning it takes to arrange the festival. Last year it drew 4,000 plus attendees.
“The way people have been reacting to my cancelling it may be yes (that I’ll have it again in the future,” Generoso says. “It has been heart warming to see the reaction I’ve had from my personal friends.”
But, he just needs a little break to gain motivation for the festival that’s focus has always been in raising money for area hungry children.
Generoso grew up in New Haven, Conn. to a poor family. Antionette Generoso, his mother, inspired the fundraiser with her philanthropic nature.
“I come from an Italian family whose world is about food,” Generoso says. “Whenever someone in my neighborhood was having trouble, she’d always have a casserole ready so the kids wouldn’t go hungry.”
Generoso hopes people will still continue to help the food bank even though the festival has closed.
“People still need to help the food bank and take care of the children,” he says. “There are a lot of children going hungry every day.”