Fourth Empty Bowls raises funds, awareness of local need for food assistance

September 27, 2017

SPRINGFIELD, Mo.— One in five children and one in seven adults in southwest Missouri may not know where their next meal will come from. To raise awareness and funds to fight this community issue, Ozarks Food Harvest and Panera Bread are partnering for the fourth annual Empty Bowls fundraiser.

Event-goers can make a donation to receive a handcrafted bowl and a meal of soup and bread, courtesy of Panera. The event will be held at Panera Bread, 4100 S. Campbell Ave. in Springfield from 4:30-8 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 29.

Local artists and students have donated 300 bowls for the event. Attendees will be able to take home bowls made from many varieties of wood, hand-thrown pottery, and even a bowls made from marble and string.

“The bowls from this event serve as a year-round reminder that there are people in this community who worry about having enough food,” said Denise Gibson, director of development and communication at Ozarks Food Harvest. “Donors can feel good knowing that every $1 they give at this event will provide four meals to someone in need.”

In the first three years of the event, Empty Bowls raised over $14,000. Those donations provided 70,000 meals through Ozarks Food Harvest’s feeding programs.

Each bowl available at the event will have a suggested donation price between $5 and $75, along with information about the artist who made the bowl. There will also be several unique bowls and platters available through a silent auction. In addition, those who make a donation will be entered into a raffle to win Panera bagels for a year and bread for a year.

“We’re very grateful to the artists who donated the incredible bowls this year,” said Gibson. “And of course the folks at Panera, who have been tremendous community partners in the fight against hunger.”

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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., or