FILLING THE BOWLS: Salvation Army luncheon raises funds to feed the hungry

Published 10:56 pm Friday, April 12, 2019

Everybody’s favorite soup was on the soup bar at the Pike County Salvation Army’s Empty Bowls Luncheon Friday

Twenty-three soups and chilies and stews were the main course but, of course, there was cornbread for the soups and desserts for a variety of sweet tooth tastes.

And, as good as the luncheon was, the bast part of the luncheon was that the funds raised will help fill the empty bowls of people in the Pike County community.

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The Rev. Ed Shirley, pastor of Brundidge United Methodist Church, said the Salvation Army is there to help friends and neighbors along the way in life and, at the end of the day, the Salvation Army is  there to help them pick up the pieces when needed.

Kim May, Pike County Salvation Army director, said the Salvation Army is always ready when help is needed whether it’s to help a family stranded along the way or in the wake of a natural disaster.

“We are there to help and we are available every day,” May said. “The Empty Bowls Luncheon helps fund our local food pantry and there are many food needs. The luncheon provides funds for foods are that sometimes are in short supply in the pantry especially those that supply much-needed protein.

“At the Salvation Army, we believe it is a blessing to be able to help others. So, it is our goal to raise as much money as possible to feed hungry people in our area and to help bring about an attitude that will not allow hunger to exist.”

Those, who came to share a bowl of soup in support of the Salvation Army’s mission to feed the hungry and bring about an attitude that will not allow hunger to exist, came early and stayed to enjoy the fellowship that is a hallmark of the event. They came from homes and from the workplaces. They can from “around here” and from distant places.

Becky Bush’s family is in town visiting with her and her husband, Ellis, and his mom, Juanita Bush. Wilbur and Nancy Fritz are from Pennsylvania and Scott and Judy Fritz are from Texas. The Empty Bowls Luncheon was at the top of all their lists as the place to be on Friday.

Judy Fritz said the soups and such were amazing and making a decision on which empty bowl to take back to the Lone Star state was difficult.

“There is an Empty Bowls event where we live but is a fundraiser for the city’s food pantry,” she said. “This is wonderful event and it supports such a good cause. We have all enjoyed being here.”

May said the total raised by the 2019 Empty Bowls Luncheon will not be final until all the until all of the bids from the celebrity bowls are in.

“But we had a great crowd and the bidding was competitive. We so pleased and thankful for the generosity of the community,” she said. “Empty Bowls in a cost-free event and there’s no way to adequately thank everyone. How do you say a thousand thanks yous? But we do thank all of our advisory board members, Donna Mclaney Jones and Debi Green, our luncheon co-chairs, all of the many volunteers and sponsors. And, Ed Whatley, who did such an incredible job of entertaining us throughout the luncheon. What a blessing we had today.”