This afternoon at the parish hall of Saint Bruno's Church in South Greensburg, a dedicated group of people gathered along with hundreds of people to celebrate the 6th Annual Empty Bowl Event in our area which benefits the Westmoreland County Food Bank. Their theme is "Craft a Bowl, Feed a Soul, and Help the Hungry". I have spoken of this event and this group previously, but they deserve all of the recognition that they can get. Karen Piper, a former parishioner of ours, spearheaded this money raising effort from its beginning, along with a great support group of 26+ volunteers. They enlist 13 local schools and five or six craft and pottery businesses as the bowl makers, plus many others groups who paint the bowls before firing (we do that each year at our parish, with twenty this year bringing their talent to the project).
At the Event, for an admission donation of $15.00, you are entitled to choose a bowl out of the hundreds on display as your candy dish or decor at home (I use my selection for the distribution of ashes on Ash Wednesday - I now have five in the collection). Admission entitles you to a meager meal of soup from at least thirty-three restaurants and vendors, bread and bottled water and "smiley cookies". They have live entertainment throughout the afternoon as well as a fifty-fifty and auction. They are supported by donors that are very generous. It was busy, chaotic, delicious and a lot of fun.
Not counting today's "take", the Empty Bowl Event has raised $60,000 in the last five years. That amount translates into $300,000 of food for needy families. The WCFB provides 15,000 lbs of food monthly to needy families with over 7,000 families assisted. $0.97 of every dollar donated goes toward food and food programs. These are a few of the facts given in the program today. I salute these good people, these volunteers from many walks of life, who give of themselves to help others. To this Empty Bowl Committee, to the Westmoreland County Food Bank, and to all Food Banks and Pantry Kitchens who serve those in need, you have our prayers and gratitude.