Empty Bowls seeks to feed the hungry

Published 3:00 am Friday, April 7, 2017

Each night, more than 805 million people go to bed hungry.

The population of the United States is estimated at 322,762,018.

That’s food for thought.

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And, that’s the idea behind the Pike County Salvation Army’s annual Empty Bowls Luncheon.

Empty Bowls is a fundraiser for the local Salvation Army’s food pantry and it’s also an effort to raise awareness of world hunger, said Kim May, Pike County Salvation Army director.

“An art teacher came up with the idea for Empty Bowls as a way of raising awareness of world hunger among his students,” May said. “He wanted them to be aware that there are people all around the world who go hungry every day. He wanted his students to be involved in making others aware of empty bowls.”

Empty Bowl luncheons are to be representative of soup kitchens.

“But, we don’t serve chicken broth and water,” May said. “This is a fundraiser for our food pantry. We want to make it enjoyable for the $20 ticket.”

The Pike County Salvation Army’s 2017 Empty Bowls Luncheon will be from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m. April 21 at the Bush Memorial Baptist Church Family Life Center.

“Empty Bowls Luncheon is a come and go event,” May said. “And, it is a soup luncheon and we have a wide variety of homemade soups from chicken tortellini to turnip soup. We have gumbos, chilies and stews made by some of the county’s finest cooks. Several businesses, including B Graves and Chicken Salad Chic, will also have soups to share and we’ll also have breads, desserts and tea and such.”

With each ticket, comes the opportunity to select a homemade pottery “empty bowl” to take home.

May said individuals, civic groups, senior adults and college and high school students have created bowls for the luncheon.

“We also have bid bowls that have been donated by professional artists, like Larry Percy and Walter Black, and they are very impressive,” she said. “We have bowls donated by local potters who are incredibly talented, including Scott and Jeanie Swindall, Carter Sanders, Millie Biggy and Day Barnes, just to name a few.”

Entertainment for the 8th Annual Empty Bowls Luncheon will be by the Rev. Ed Shirley.

“Rev. Shirley will present two vignettes and each will be different,” May said. “He is very entertaining and a lot of fun. You’ll not want to miss him.”

Everyone is encouraged to mark April 21 on his or her calendar as a reminder of the Salvation Army’s Empty Bowls Luncheon.

“It’s a time of food, fellowship and fun and the funds raised go to a very worthy cause,” May said. “One out of nine people worldwide suffer from chronic hunger. We don’t want anyone in Pike County to go to bed hungry. By supporting the Empty Bowls Luncheon, you will help keep the Salvation Army’s food pantry well stocked and available to meet the needs of our community.”