For the past 28 years in Clark County, Second Harvest Food Bank CCL has been holding a fundraiser in the community called "Empty Bowls" and since then we have expanded it to both Champaign and Logan Counties as well. 100% of the proceeds from this fundraiser go right back to Second Harvest Food Bank, with every $1 = 6 meals we are able to provide for the neighbors in our community.
Since the Coronavirus pandemic hit, we have been unable to host the Empty Bowls Events in person but we did have them virtually. In 2022, we were finally able to host the events back in person. I interviewed Audrey Vanzant, the Development Manager at SHFB, about this years event and how it went compared to years past. Audrey stated that "There weren’t as many attendees this year compared to pre-pandemic but we anticipated that being the first year back! We are also conscious that inflation is very real, prices are rising, and people may not have an extra $20 to give."
At the events this year, people in the community were able to come to any of our 3 locations and pick out their bowls, which were $20 each, and that price would also include a cup of soup that is donated from local restaurants. However, compared to years past, the soup was taken to go.
The bowls are donated from local art programs including Wittenberg University, Bellefontaine High School, Graham High School, Springfield High School, Cracked Pot Studios, and many additional local artists.
Soups are donated every year from local restaurants and caters. This year's soup dinner included:
Clark County: Parkhurst Dining, Coppertop, Mela, Season’s Kitchen Champaign County: Coppertop, Farmer’s Daughter, Mumford’s, Hippie and the Farmer Logan County: Bob Evans, Recovery Zone, The Syndicate, Brewfontaine, The Flying Pepper
We Wanted To Give A Special Thank You To Our Donors And Sponsors!
"We were really lucky to have over 81 sponsors amongst the three counties. We had one platinum sponsor for each county. Our Clark County Platinum sponsor was Assurant. Our Champaign County Platinum sponsor was Johnson Welded Products. Our Logan County Platinum sponsor was Midwest Express Inc." -Audrey had stated regarding our amazing sponsors
As this years events are now over, I asked Audrey when they start preparing for the following years Empty Bowls Fundraiser. Audrey stated "Now, we just had our first meeting this past week! We want to get ahead on booking venues, looking at the calendar, and start earlier marketing efforts to build attendance!". If you would want to become a sponsor for next years event Audrey stated "We start soliciting sponsors in February of every year with a letter and a form. Anyone interested in learning more about sponsorship opportunities can contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or (937) 325-8715 ext. 102".
As we are preparing for next years events we are always accepting volunteers to help set up, ladle soup, wash bowls, and just be a smiling face in the community! These opportunities are available in all three counties and they can contact Lana Jones for more information.
Lana Jones, Volunteer Specialist 937-325-8715 ext. 115 email@example.com
I asked Audrey what her favorite part of the Empty Bowls event is and her reply was "Personally, my favorite thing about the event is the bowls themselves. I am a huge lover of all things “art” especially locally made. Each bowl is so unique in size, shape, color, glaze and I love knowing their all made by local artist. It is so interesting to see them all laid out on the table with their own style and seeing what everyone is drawn too."
I also asked Audrey what she is looking forward to about next years Empty Bowls Event she stated "Being able to eat and sit down! In years past this event was designed for people to come in and choose their bowl, have it washed and then eat soup directly out of these bowls while enjoying conversation and time with friends and other members of the communities. With us still be cautious of COVID, we went with to-go soups this year to eliminate gathering so it’ll be great to get back to the sit down meal we had before."
I want to give a special thank you to Audrey Vanzant and for the many other staff members at SHFB, the volunteers, the sponsors and the donors for all the hard work they do for this wonderful event! I also want to say thank you to Audrey for allowing me to interview her for this blog post.
If you are interested in still purchasing a bowl, they are available on our website www.theshfb.org