Through Empty Bowls Initiative

This year our annual Empty Bowls fundraiser moved to include area schools. While we still had the soup luncheon at the TrueNorth Service Center, over 80 school staff joined the fight against hunger with a delivered soup lunch.

A Newaygo County educator says, “Kudos to TrueNorth for reaching out to the local schools to participate in this event…Definitely looking forward to next year to do it again and that we can help in some small way!”

School staff received a lunch of soup and bread along with a hand-painted bowl as a reminder of all the empty bowls in our community just like those at the in-person luncheon. This event hit home for school staff because they see the effects of food insecurity first-hand in many of their students.

To add to the school staff, an additional 125 community members came to the luncheon held at TrueNorth’s Service Center, totalling 250 supporters for the entire event. Making additional donations of over $3,300, attendees “stuffed” 22 shopping carts full of fruits, vegetables, peanut butter and other items for our on-site, self-select food pantry. In total, $16,676 was raised through donations, ticket sales, Stuff the Cart and sponsorships.

With a goal of $25,000 to support our Hunger Prevention programs, there is still a great need for support with $8,324 remaining to meet our goal. With the growing need in our community, many bowls are still empty. Our neighbors need your help to live healthy, sustainable lives. 

Mike Voyt, TrueNorth’s Hunger Prevention and Children’s Services Director, says, “During the past four years, we have experienced a 200% increase in requests for food assistance through our in-house food pantry and a 275% increase in Mobile Pantry use. Thankfully our community has been with us every step of the way as we work to meet this urgent need.”

You can help fill the remaining empty bowls in our community by making a gift today.