Edmonton’s hip hop community hosted their annual food bank fundraiser Hip Hop for Hunger on Saturday.

Over the past 11 years organizers said the event has raised 8,671 pounds of food.

This year’s goal was 1,500.

“The cost of living is rising and people aren’t always able to keep up with it, especially at Christmas,” event producer Marlon Wilson told CTV News.

“I think it’s very important that there be some sort of outlet that can provide support for those who are in need.”

Wilson said the event was brought to Edmonton in 2002, after a trial run in Vernon, B.C.

“Our main focus is raising food donations. On average we raise, roughly around $700 a year,” he said.

Well known performers include Politic Live, Quordal Fusion, Mitchmatic, Doom Squad, K-Riz, Instinct and Loonie Tunez.

However, the event also offers a venue for those in the hip hop community to check out new, local talent.

“This year we’ve added a new twist to it in the sense that we’ve actually brought in what we’re calling the 2012 Freshman Cipher. What we’ve done is we’ve taken eight of the hungriest up and coming young MCs and we’ve put them into a cipher, which they are going to perform later on tonight.”

There is also a Christmas theme .

“One of the leaders in Edmonton’s hip hop community dresses up as Santa Claus and gives away t-shirts, CDs, all types of stuff to the people that come out to the event.”

Wilson said they were proud to have put the event on for the last 11 years.

“If we can take it to 20, 25 years then that’s the goal.”

This year’s event was held at the Haven Social Club on Stony Plain Road.