“The community response we’ve had the past nine years has been amazing,” said Carol Boyd, organizer of the Empty Bowls event. “Last year’s event raised more than $23,000 for our hungry neighbors.”
The ninth annual Carroll County Empty Bowls event will be held on Sunday, Feb. 24, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Carroll County Ag Center on Newnan Road in Carrollton. The minimum donation is $10 per bowl. People can come, dine and go during the four-hour event. Guests are invited to a simple meal of soup and bread served in the handmade bowls. In exchange for a cash donation, guests are asked to keep a bowl as a reminder of all the empty bowls in the world.
The bowls are made and donated by several groups and individuals, and local chefs and restaurants donate the soup that fills the bowls.
Empty Bowls is an international grassroots effort to fight hunger.
“We usually have about 1,000 bowls donated each year,” Boyd said. “We have a lot of ceramic artists and we also do workshops with Scouts, church and university groups. The groups learn simple techniques for making bowls.”
Boyd said the event has been a “very nice thing,” since it serves two purposes: raising money and bringing the community together.
“It serves its basic function of raising money for the soup kitchen, but it also brings a lot of aspects of our community together,” Boyd said. “It’s been a fun and meaningful event since the start.”
To serve even more, the event has been extended by an hour this year, usually running only three hours. This year it’s running four hours, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
“We hosted more than 900 people for lunch last year, and we’re going an extra hour this year to hopefully serve more,” Boyd said.
Help or volunteers are needed in the following areas:
• Plenty of volunteers on the day of the event for a wide variety of tasks, many of which can be done by children as young as 10.
• About 1,000 bowls are needed, so help is needed from anyone who can make and donate bowls in clay or other media. Donors can also donate back bowls from previous years’ Empty Bowls.
• Other art pieces of any style welcome for the silent auction.
• Sponsors willing to make cash donations, which all go directly to the soup kitchen for their monthly expenses and facility needs.
A silent auction will be held with items donated by local artists. These items may include pottery, jewelry, paintings and sculptures and other media, Boyd said. There will also be a buy-it-now boutique, children’s activities and live music.
All proceeds go to the Carroll County Soup Kitchen, located at 345 Beulah Church Road in Carrollton. The soup kitchen provides meals the last full week of the month and Monday and Thursday of every week, from 11 a.m. to noon.
The soup kitchen serves more than 3,000 hot meals each month. All soup kitchen workers are volunteers and much of the food is donated by schools, churches, civic organizations and individuals.
“The annual cost to run the kitchen is about $100,000 to $120,000 per year,” said soup kitchen director Bobbye Jean Warford.
“We’re so pleased that the community has responded so well to this fundraiser,” Boyd said. “The needs of the food kitchen has grown in the last few years.”
The event will be held at the Carroll County Ag Center, 900 Newnan Road in Carrollton.
To find out more about Empty Bowls or to learn how to volunteer, contact Carol Boyd at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.carrollcountyemptybowls.org.