Yesterday afternoon I attended what is becoming for many in the area a wonderful event of outreach and love - the 5th Annual Empty Bowl Event. This fundraiser was held again at Saint Bruno Church hall in South Greensburg and benefits the Westmoreland County Food Bank. This annual event, whose subtitle I used as the title of this post, was originated by a parishioner of ours, Karen Piper, a her loyal band of helpers.
The concept is not original, but the local response is worth noting. Schools, groups, crafters and ceramics makers provide and paint ceramic bowls that are fired and made available for the event and beyond. At least fifteen groups provided bowls, and other places (like our parish) had "bowl painting parties" to help the cause. Admission to the Event is $15.00, and it entitles you to pick out a bowl to take home (mine have become the recepticles for ashes on Ash Wednesday). You are also invited to share a meager meal of sorts, with homemade soups and breads from at least twenty-nine restaurants from the area ( I tried something called "Mulligatawny Callalo" which was a creamed crab soup of sorts).
Raffles are held, entertainment is throughout the afternoon, and people had a great time.
In their program booklet they shared some stats: not counting the over $13,000 raised yesterday, in the past four years this group has raised $60,000 for the cause, which translates into $300,000 worth of food purchses. Westmoreland County Food Bank (WCFB) serves over 7,000 families each month; with 61% of households reporting a monthly income of less than $1,400; 34% of members of families served are children; 13% are seniors; 79% are female; 1% are homeless. WCFB tells us that they provide 15,000 lbs of food monthly to needy families, and that 97 cents of every dollar goes to food and food programs. WCFB does a great job ... the Empty Bowl Committee does outstanding work ... and most importantly, people in need are helped. God bless everyone involved.