Empty Bowls Caring Hearts Dinner Raises $24,000 for Local Food Programs

Story by Michelle McChristie, Photos by Marty Mascarin

Today, the organizers of Empty Bowls Caring Hearts presented a total of $24,000 to the Thunder Bay Food Bank and Shelter House Thunder Bay. The 17th annual dinner, which was their most successful fundraising effort to date, was held on October 16 at the Moose Hall.

Tanis Webster, chair Empty Bowls, presents a $12,000 cheque to representatives from the Thunder Bay Food Bank (left to right) Myra Bjorn, Lynda Roussel, and Judy Smiegielski

Tanis Webster, chair Empty Bowls, presents a $12,000 cheque to representatives from the Thunder Bay Food Bank (left to right) Myra Bjorn, Lynda Roussel, and Judy Smiegielski

Since the event’s inception, the hardworking volunteer committee has raised over $217,000 for the Thunder Bay Food Bank and Shelter House. Funds are directed to food programs which directly support individuals and families in need. The committee’s efforts are also geared towards fostering a conscious culture and heightening public awareness about food scarcity, hunger, and poverty in our own backyard.

This year’s dinner menu featured homemade fare prepared and donated by local chefs, restaurants, cafés, and bakeries such as Bistro One, St. Paul’s Roastery, and Sweet Escape Cake Café & Bakery. The simple meal of soup, bread, and dessert—a symbolic gesture of a “poverty meal”—represents the focus and inspiration for the evening.

Empty Bowls Caring Hearts also features live entertainment and a silent auction. And, attendees may take home their empty bowl, handmade by a member of the Potters’ Guild, or a lovely placemat, handmade by the Thunder Bay Quilters Guild.

For too many in our community, an empty bowl is a reality.

Featured image caption: Tanis Webster of the Empty Bowls campaign presents a cheque for $12,000 to Gary Mack, executive director of Shelter House Thunder Bay

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