Soup’s on: Y’all come for Empty Bowls

Published 3:00 am Tuesday, April 12, 2016

All around the city and on out into the county, pots and pans are rattling as some of the best restaurants and the best cooks are preparing their soups and such for the annual Empty Bowls Luncheon from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m. Friday at the Bush Memorial Baptist Church Fellowship Hall in Troy.

The Empty Bowls Luncheon is a fundraiser to feed the hungry in Pike County through the Salvation Army’s Food Pantry in Troy.

Kim May, director of the local Salvation Army Service Center, said the fundraiser is also

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a time for fun, food and fellowship.

Tickets for the Empty Bowls Luncheon are $20 and are available at the Salvation Army Service Center at 509 South Brundidge Street in Troy. Tickets will also be available at the door. With each ticket, the holder dines at the all-you-can eat soup and such buffet and also gets to choose a handcrafted pottery bowl to take home.

“We do have some of the best cooks and best local restaurants participating in the 2016 Empty Bowls Luncheon,” May said. “The idea is for everything to be donated, the food and the clay bowls. And, through the generosity of the Pike County community, we are able to raise funds to help stock our food pantry. The Salvation Army here in Pike County serves the people of Pike County – our friends and neighbors — in times of need.”

May said she doesn’t ask others to do unless she is doing so she has agreed to make her famous, “Salvation Army” chili.

And for those who like chili a little on the wild side, Stacey Diamond will counter May’s chili with her special venison chili.

The Salvation Army Service Center will match May’s pot with pots of camp stew and Red Kettle Coordinator Donna McLaney’s broccoli and cheese soup.

“We have several men who really know their way around the kitchen,” May said. “Professional chef Ron Case will bring a pot of his tortellini and local soup guru, Dennis Griffith, has agreed to make his crawfish etouffee. Eddie Powell’s offering will be his specialty soup, chicken tortilla.

“Tamera Stephens makes wonderful vegetable soup and Shelby Sanders’ cabbage soup is equally delicious, as is Trudy Schroeder’s vegetable beef and barley soup.”

Local restaurants have been, and continue, to be supportive of the Empty Bowls Luncheon, May said.

Momma Goldberg’s will have a brimming pot of tomato basil soup. Milky Moo’s will bring broccoli soup and Ruby Tuesday’s will have a pot of chicken noodle soup. Santa Fe’s pot will be filled with potato soup and Sodexo will have chicken tortilla.

The bowls of those who attended the Empty Bowls Luncheon will be bottomless.

“You can sample as many of the soups and such as you would like,” May said. “You can  try them all or just one. But they are all so good that you can’t stop with one.”

The Empty Bowls Luncheon will also have a variety of desserts — pound cake, brownies, bread pudding and cookies. Coffee, tea and water will be served.

May said more “soups and such” could be added to the menu by Empty Bowls lunchtime.

“You can never have too much soup,” she said. “And, we can never do too much to help the people in our community when they are facing difficult times.”