This past Saturday, Feb. 20th, was the Empty Bowls luncheon I wrote about a few weeks ago. The fundraiser was sponsored by our local arts’ alliance organization and benefited one of the local food pantries. Local restaurants and caterers provided several different soups and chili for the fundraiser. Rolls, beverages and honey buns were also available. Students from a local private school had decorated colorful placemats for the tables and music students from the arts’ alliance music programs provided musical entertainment for diners.
My family arrived about half way through the event and found our bowls among the many other wonderfully decorated bowls. The event hall was lively with people and music. A group of senior citizens from one of the local retirement communities had just arrived. We chose our soups–wonton, chicken noodle and chili–and sat down to eat, while enjoying the music of local budding musicians. While there we waved to and chatted with some friends and acquaintances and enjoyed the small town ambience.
As we were leaving I spotted the director of the organization in which the food pantry is housed. I went over to say hello and while we were talking I asked her about the success of the fundraiser. She said that the arts’ alliance ran out of the 140 bowls purchased for people to decorate. People who did not wish to decorate a bowl or were not able to because the bowls sold out, were still able to purchase tickets and come to the luncheon. While at the luncheon, I saw several people using disposable bowls, indicating more than 140 people participated in this fundraiser. I do not have a definite count of tickets sold or money raised, but the community services director seemed very please with the outcome, indicating it had grown substantially over last year.
Our bowls are currently on display on my dining room table. I leave them there while we eat dinner as a reminder to be grateful for what we have and to remember that those who are hungry exist in the United States in unacceptably high numbers.