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Empty Bowls success benefits local food banks
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Empty Bowls success benefits local food banks

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Empty Bowls’ 2020 non-luncheon event successfully brought awareness of food insecurities in the Bitterroot Valley and raised nearly $4,000 by community donations.

Empty Bowls sent out checks for $850 to Haven House, Darby Bread Box and Pantry Partners, $600 to Council on Aging (for Meals on Wheels) and $450 to the Victor Food Bank run through the Bitterroot Church of the Nazarene.

Coordinator Robin Ireland said Empty Bowls had a booth at two Hamilton Farmers Markets where they were accepting donations and giving a bowl to people who were donating more than $20.

“We had 100 bowls left from last year’s event and we had 50 new bowls that people made this year,” Ireland said. “The farmers markets were a big success. They let us set up for free and we displayed bowls. Some people made a $100 donation and didn’t take a bowl. Others were thrilled to get a bowl and some just threw in a $5 donation, which was great.”

Other donations were made and bowls given at the Clay Works! In the Bitterroot studio.

“We’re going to leave that display up and continue to take donations throughout the year,” Ireland said. “There is no reason not to, we have the space to display the bowls. We’ll do another mini-throw down, or have people make bowls on their own and supply them with the clay, for free, that they need to make the bowls that we need to keep going.”

Ireland said she is unsure if there will be an Empty Bowls luncheon next fall, it all depends on COVID cases.

“People are continuing to come in and make donations,” she said. “We have an awareness in the community that we are doing this, and people are excited to donate.”

She said people tell her they miss the luncheons but understand why they are not holding them.

“We have had many suggestions like having a booth all summer at the farmers market and feature a soup from one of the restaurants,” Ireland said. “Another suggestion was that maybe restaurants would consider donating one day of the week for soup. We’ll talk about that to see if it is what we want to do.”

New to Empty Bowls this year is the Victor Food Bank.

“We raised a little bit more money so we could give to them too,” Ireland said.

Empty Bowls is continuing to collect donations to help stop hunger at Clay Works! In the Bitterroot at 325 W. Main St. in Hamilton.

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Donate to the Turkey Trot Go Fund Me at gofundme.com/272j31sddc. The turkey, Dominic Farrenkopf, is asking people to share it on their social media to spread the message further and help local food banks. 

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