BELLOWS FALLS -- The executive director of Our Place Drop-In Center said the 15th Annual Empty Bowl Dinner will be just the latest chance for locals to share stories, break bread and raise money for a good cause.
Lisa Pitcher said the center is now selling tickets to the dinner, which will be held at Alyson's Orchard in Walpole, N.H., on Sunday, Nov. 4. All proceeds will go toward supporting the Our Place's food programs, which include a food pantry, a daily breakfast and lunch, and nutrition education.
In addition to a dinner of soups, homemade breads, salad and desserts, all guests will be given a handmade bowl to take home as a reminder of those who struggle to put food on the family table. Pitcher said the center is now collecting bowls to be distributed and has already been promised many from area potters such as Malcolm Wright, Virginia Wyoming, Matthew Tell, Claudia Teachman, Dan Lasser, Susan Dunning, and the people at Brattleboro Clayworks.
She said the bowls won't be used for eating but rather as a symbol to remember "people who don't have food to put in their bowl for every meal."
"A lot of people have to skip meals," she said.
Pitcher said the food has been donated by various local eateries and the dinner is the center's largest fundraising event of the year.
"Gather and Share" is the theme of this year's soup supper event that begins at 5 p.m. with an auction preview and social hour.
There will be two separate
"The whole event is to raise awareness in our community," she said, adding that she and the other 10 members of the Our Place Board of Directors will be there. "Why are people hungry when we have plenty of food in this country?"
Pitcher said the abundance of food and nutritional resources are not always equally distributed in the United States and many people receiving government assistance every month get money or food that lasts only three weeks. She said this means many families have to rely on food pantries to make ends meet.
Fran Imhoff, the event manager of Alyson's Orchard, said the business will supply tables, chairs and a cash bar for the event.
"We do many events and weddings throughout the year and it's important to give back to the community. ... We like to make sure we support people in need and people doing good," she said in a telephone interview.
Imhoff said Alyson's has hosted the event for at least the past five years.
"We've done it so many times we can do it in our sleep," she said.
Empty Bowl is part of an international grassroots effort that began in 1990 to raise money for food programs. It started as a local effort in a Michigan high school and grew into a worldwide program that has generated more than $1 million to help combat hunger.
Tickets for the Empty Bowl event are $30 and are available at Village Square Booksellers in Bellows Falls, Real to Reel Video in Walpole or by calling Our Place at 802-463-2217.
Domenic Poli can be reached at email@example.com, or 802-254-2311, ext. 277.