This year’s Empty Bowls of Champaign County fundraiser for local food banks brought in the dough – literally and figuratively.
The sixth annual event, held Feb. 23, raised approximately $16,000 for food banks, Second Harvest Food Bank Executive Director Tyra Jackson said. That was more than last year’s $15,000 total. This year’s goal was $17,000, which was higher than the goal for 2016’s event, Jackson said. There were approximately 350 people in attendance, which is about the same as last year, Jackson said.
“With those donations, it equates to about 80,000 meals we can provide in the community,” she said.
The food bank serves residents in Clark, Champaign and Logan counties.
The event pairs handmade bowls from area potters with donated soup and bread from area restaurants and businesses.
There were over 14 different soups from 12 local restaurants, Jackson said.
This year’s donors included The Airport Cafe, Cafe Paradiso, Carmazzi’s General Store, Coppertop, The Depot Coffee House, The Farmer’s Daughter, Fusion 40.83, The Hippie and the Farmer, Rock n’ Robin, Sodexo, The Spotted Cow, Sweetie Pie’s Baked Goods and Coffee Shop and Cosmic Charlie Bread.
The funds raised are used for about eight local food pantries in Champaign County. They also support the Commodity Supplemental Food Program for seniors. The federally-funded program provides a 40-pound box of nutritious food to approximately 1,300 seniors in the three counties served by the food bank, according to the Second Harvest Food Bank website.
This fundraiser is very important for this community, Jackson said.
“As resources are cut, we have to rely on the community to sort of help support its needs,” she said. “It was a great showing (this year). Each year it continues to grow. I hope next year will be bigger and better than this year.”
For more information, visit the food bank website at www.springfieldshfb.org.
Casey S. Elliott may be reached at 937-652-1331 ext. 1772 or on Twitter @UDCElliott.