Local residents are invited to help end hunger in Bartholomew County by attending the 16th annual Empty Bowls dinner Saturday evening at Central Middle School.
The all-you-can-eat soup and bread dinner offers guests the opportunity to purchase a keepsake artisan-crafted bowl as a reminder there are people in the community who are hungry.
The idea behind the event is to address the issue of food insecurity in Bartholomew County, said SaraBeth Drybread, community outreach coordinator for the Columbus Food Co-Op and co-chairwoman of the Empty Bowls planning committee.
“Food insecurity is a big deal,” Drybread said. “The event is a way to remind people that there are food issues people are dealing with on a daily basis, and there are ways we can help.”
Proceeds from this year’s dinner will benefit Love Chapel, Turning Point, Horizon House and Hope Community Center, Drybread said.
Bays will be set up to serve guests, with each featuring different types of soups. In addition to traditional favorites such as chicken noodle and various types of chili, guests can try new soups, including spicy pumpkin and taco, Drybread said.
Potter Barb Lund, of Bloomington, is one of more than a half-dozen area artisans contributing handmade bowls to the event. Lund began crafting her contribution of 20 bowls in mid-December.
“This event is a great way for people to get together and contribute to the process of getting food to people in need,” Lund said, who has contributed to Bartholomew County’s Empty Bowls since it began in 1999.
Local group The Banisters will perform with a 90-minute set. Guests can expect a mix of high-energy Americana music, group member Roger Banister said. The group will perform a mixture of traditional and modern bluegrass, blended with some Beatles and Crosby, Stills & Nash, plus instrumental pieces.
More than 600 people attended last year’s Empty Bowls fundraiser, when $10,000 was raised for local food banks, Drybread said.