Empty Bowls closes out Hunger Action Month providing 33,300 meals
SPRINGFIELD, Mo.— Artists and community members came together last month for the most successful Empty Bowls yet. The fourth annual fundraiser raised $8,326, selling 300 handcrafted bowls donated by nearly 50 local artists.
The empty bowls represent the one in seven adults and one in five children who struggle with hunger in the Ozarks.
“It’s our honor to host Empty Bowls with Ozarks Food Harvest,” said Claudine Stark, director of marketing for The Traditional Bakery Inc., local Panera franchisee group. “The thought of any child going hungry is unbearable. Raising funds to help alleviate this situation is a community effort, and we at Panera Bread are humbled to be a part of something so meaningful.”
Since 2014, Empty Bowls has provided over 103,300 meals through Ozarks Food Harvest’s feeding programs.
Event-goers made donations to receive a handcrafted bowl and a meal of soup and bread, courtesy of Panera. The bowls were made from 15 varieties of wood, hand-thrown pottery and even marble and string.
Artists who donated to the event included members of the Woodturners of Southwest Missouri, Clement Clayworks and Missouri State University and Ozarks Technical Community College students. Uke 66 and David Greathouse provided live music for the event.
Empty Bowls was the final event of Hunger Action Month, a month-long campaign held every September when Ozarks Food Harvest encourages community members to take action to alleviate hunger. Hunger Action Month is part of a nationwide campaign across the Feeding America food bank network.
“Hunger Action Month is a great opportunity for us to share our mission,” said Denise Gibson, director of development and communication at Ozarks Food Harvest. “Each year we are blessed to have so much community support of our events and fundraisers. A big thank you to everyone who got involved.”
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About Ozarks Food Harvest — The Food Bank
Ozarks Food Harvest is the Feeding America food bank for southwest Missouri, providing food to 270 organizations across 28 Ozarks counties serving 261,000 unduplicated individuals. The Food Bank provides 16.4 million meals annually.