Empty Bowls

Attendees pick out hand-painted bowls during Channel One Regional Food Bank’s 14th annual Empty Bowls Event on Thursday, Oct. 11, 2018, at the Mayo Civic Center in Rochester. Proceeds from the event support Channel One’s mission to feed people in need. (Post Bulletin file photo by Andrew Link)

Help local families one bowl at a time at Channel One's Empty Bowls event. Open to family members of all ages, the annual event starts with a simple meal.

“From 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., families are invited to stop by the Mayo Civic Center for a simple meal of soup and bread donated by local restaurants and bakeries and served by local celebrities,” said Jessica Sund, communications and event manager at Channel One Regional Food Bank. “Everyone who comes leaves with a ceramic bowl hand-painted by local artists and community members at Color Me Mine or the RCTC ceramics department.”

The event continues into the evening with Empty Bowls After-Hours. Held from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Civic Center, the evening is open to kids and adults and offers food, music, and the opportunity to hear stories of people in our region affected by food insecurity.

“This is the event’s 15th anniversary. We made some changes to the event, freshened it up by trying something new with the after-hours party,” said Sund. “For the evening’s event we’re flipping the room. Local restaurants will provide gourmet bites. There will be a DJ, music, cash bar, and the chance to play PLINKO on stage and win prizes like tickets to a Wild game or Apple air pods, and of course hand-painted ceramic bowls to take home at the end of the night.”

A fundraiser for Channel One, the money raised goes to help fulfill the organization’s mission of strengthening food access and building healthy communities.

“Empty Bowls is Channel One’s only annual special event,” said Sund. “The money raised helps us provide food for the food banks and food shelves we serve in 14 counties, helps us provide food for the school backpack and pantry programs that operate in many of Rochester’s public schools, and helps us stock our local food shelf.”

In addition to being a Food Bank, Chanel One also operates a food shelf out of its main office location. Last year the food shelf distributed close to 4 million pounds of food to Olmsted County residents who are facing food insecurity.

“We are here for anyone who needs help. Families come to us because they were laid off, injured, facing a disability,” said Sund. “More than 3,500 households visit the food shelf every month. No one should have to make the decision between rent and food.”

Tickets are $15 for lunch or after-hours or $25 for both. Tickets are available for purchase online or at Think Bank or Color Me Mine.

Lindy Lange is a licensed school social worker. Family Time appears every Wednesday. Up next: Stomp sauerkraut at the History Center of Olmsted County's Harvest Moon Fall Festival.

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