Empty Bowls 2019 packs the house in support of Highlands Food Pantry

Hundreds showed up to Empty Bowls 2019 to support the International Friendship Center’s annual fundraiser for the Highlands Food Pantry on Sunday at the First Presbyterian Church. Attendees dined on a variety of soups from local restaurants and were able to take home a souvenir bowl handmade by potters from The Bascom and artists throughout the area.

Hundreds turned out in support of the IFC’s annual Empty Bowls fundraiser for the Highlands Food Pantry.

The amount raised is still being tabulated, but all proceeds go to the Food Pantry that aids those in need on the Plateau.

“The majority of our clients are local,” said IFC Chairman David Moore. “They’re underemployed, retired, young families; and we rely heavily on the turnout for this event as well the artists from The Bascom making these pieces.”

Approx. 350 people attended Empty Bowls 2019 and took home a souvenir bowl in support of the IFC’s Highlands Food Pantry.

Moore added that with a low overhead, all funds raised goes towards food purchases.

“What we’re trying to do is provide locally sourced produce and proteins, which are more expensive to provide, but it’s a healthier option and we’re able to do that thanks to the generosity of the community,” said Moore.

IFC Director Andrea Smith said Empty Bowls is critical to keep the Food Pantry well stocked.

“It’s very important because all of the money goes towards more food and a better quality of food,” said Smith. “The community has been wonderful, it’s beautiful to see the support everyone shows by coming here.”

A small army of volunteers donate their time to make Empty Bowls a success each year.

Empty Bowl Event Chair Cindy Trevathan knows all too well the efforts involved in feeding approx. 300 people.

“The support we receive from the community has been great,” said Trevathan. “And of course, the volunteers, all of the hard work they put in. We appreciate everything they do and I don’t have the words to thank them enough.”

Cindy Trevathan makes sure the soups are warm and well stocked to help keep Empty Bowls 2019 running smoothly.

Food Pantry Executive Director Marty Rosenfield not only ensures a wide variety of soups are prepped and ready to rock, including his own Pumpkin Duck, but said there’s a ton of work that goes on behind the scenes to make the event a success.

“The church (First Presbyterian Church) has been great in assisting this event since the very beginning,” said Rosenfield. “The fellowship here for putting this on, I tell you it takes a village. I do a lot of work, but I can’t do this myself. Plus, the community support and The Bascom are great, we are so blessed.”

Marty Rosenfield and Deborah McKnight take a breather along the soup line at First Presbyterian Church in Highlands.

Joy Stribling has been attending Empty Bowls for years and has accumulated quite a collection of pottery.

“I come here for the cause and because the bowls are great,” said Stribling. “I use my bowls for entertainment purposes and keep them with the rest of the serving pieces.”

To read last year’s Empty Bowls 2018 article click HERE.

Article and Photos by Brian O’Shea
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