PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — There are a lot of places you can go for a great view of Pittsburgh, like Mt. Washington or the West End overlook.

But one way may take the cake: in a hot air balloon above the city. You can have the same experience, all while helping out a good cause.

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It’s a view you can check over the weekend at Hartwood Acres. The hot air balloon is part of the 19th annual Pittsburgh Blues Festival.

A ride costs $10 and $5 for children 12-years-old and younger.

All of the money goes directly to the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank.

“For every dollar we receive, we can purchase $5 worth of food and do that through maximum purchasing power,” said Alyssa Jurewicz-Johns with the food bank. “We currently purchase over 30 percent of the food that we distribute throughout our 11-county region.”

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About 60 percent of the people the food bank serves are under the age of 18. Summer is a busy time with students out of school.

“Those children are not getting those meals in the morning or at lunchtime and then it then becomes the household responsibility to be able to really juggle resources to be able to feed the kids during the summertime,” Jurewicz-Johns said.
People’s Natural Gas is sponsoring the hot air balloon in an effort to help those in need.

“I think a lot of people don’t realize that the summertime is really a critical time,” says Barry Kukovich of People’s Natural Gas. “People have a tendency to give food donations and cash donations more in the autumn and towards the Christmas season.”

In addition to the balloon ride, the Blues Festival features food, music and a lot more.

It runs Friday night through Sunday.

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