This year’s 12th annual Empty Bowls fundraiser, a collaboration between the International Friendship Center and the First Presbyterian Church of Highlands to raise money for the Highlands Food Pantry, will be held on Sept. 24.
Each year local restaurants and chefs prepare their best soups to be served alongside the artistry of area potters, many of whom donate stoneware bowls through The Bascom. Tickets sell for $25, for which individuals receive a hand-turned bowl and a delicious meal. Last year’s event raised $10,000 for the pantry.
This year features soups from six local favorites: The Kitchen Carry Away, Los Vaqueros, Rosewood Market, The Secret Garden, The Smokehouse, and 4118.
According to IFC executive director T. J. Smith, this year’s event is crucial to the communities served by the pantry.
“We’ve seen a 110% increase in clients at the pantry from last year to this year,” said Smith. “Rising costs in practically every aspect of life, coupled with stagnant wages that haven’t met the cost-of-living needs for more than a decade, have really put a lot of folks in a financial bind – we are seeing it everyday at the pantry.”
All of the proceeds from the fundraiser go directly to the pantry for the purchase of food – a number Smith places at around $5,000 per month.
Tickets can be purchased online HERE or at the Highlands Food Pantry, located on the bottom floor of the Highlands United Methodist Church, accessible via Spring street, on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays between 10 am and 5 pm.