Tables lined with bowls, to raise money and awareness.
That was the scene at Central Oregon Community college on Sunday, for NeighborImpact’s 21st annual Empty Bowls event.
This year, NeighborImpact welcomed 600 people to their sold-out event.
Those who bought tickets could choose a handcrafted bowl made by a local potter and enjoy a soup lunch with live music.
“It’s called Empty Bowls because all the proceeds go to our food program and towards feeding people in need,” said NeighborImpact Volunteer Coordination Specialist Kara Haeussler. “And so as you get your empty bowl from a local potter and you come down and we all share a meal, that kind of represents a need for a hungry neighbor.”
The past couple of years have been virtual events due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“This is kind of like a fall welcoming kind of event. We got some hot soup, the weather was finally coming in. And just seeing people’s faces, hearing the live music, it just feels great to see everyone,” Haeussler added.
Thirty volunteers helped make the event possible, including 14 cadets from the Oregon Youth Challenge program.
The fundraising goal for the day was between $60,000-$75,000, and organizers said they had met that goal.
For more information about NeighborImpact’s efforts to alleviate food insecurity in our region, visit https://www.neighborimpact.org.