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Over 20 years ago a high school art teacher in southeast Michigan and his students were searching for a way to raise funds to support a local food drive. What evolved was a class project to make ceramic bowls for a fund raising meal. Guests were served a simple meal of soup and bread, were invited to choose and keep a bowl as a reminder of hunger in the world, and “Empty Bowls” was born.

While it appears that hopefully the worst of the recession  is behind us, there are still many local residents who do not have enough to eat. Already this year, the TrueNorth on-site Food Pantry has been accessed over 5,500 by low-income households. In August alone, 685 households, representing 1,876 individuals, used the Pantry. There are many ways you can help; by donating food to a local food pantry; by volunteering; or by giving financially. Another great way is to take part in Empty Bowls.

This October, the 14th Annual TrueNorth Empty Bowls Luncheons will be taking place. There are two dates and locations to choose from to make it easier to participate. You can be a part of alleviating hunger in Newaygo County by attending the event, or by hosting a table of eight for you and your friends, family or co-workers on Thursday, October 3 at the TrueNorth Service Center – 6308 S. Warner Ave., Fremont; or on Friday, October 4 at the Newaygo County Commission on Aging - 93 S. Gibbs St., White Cloud. The luncheons run from 11:30 AM – 1:30 PM each day. 

Local middle school and high school art students, as well as concerned citizens have made and/or decorated bowls, and each guest will be allowed to choose a bowl as theirs to keep, reminding them that there are always “empty bowls” somewhere in Newaygo County.  In addition to their bowl, each guest will receive a simple lunch including a homemade soup buffet, bread, dessert, and beverage. Soups are donated by area restaurants and attendees may partake of as many varieties as they would like. Tickets are $20.00 each or a table of eight for $150.00 and are available now at TrueNorth. You may also order over the phone by calling Darci David at TrueNorth, 924-0641, ext. 111, or via e-mail at darcid@truenorthservices.org. Tickets may be purchased using cash, credit cards or check with checks made payable to “TrueNorth”, with “Empty Bowls” on the memo line. Tickets will also be available at the door. 

Any questions should be directed to Darci David, Communications & Development Senior Officer at TrueNorth, 924-0641, ext. 111. You are also encouraged to visit www.truenorthservices.org for more information.

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