WICHITA FALLS - Organizers of the inaugural Empty Bowls event to benefit the Wichita Falls Area Food Bank announced Wednesday that $64,139.00 was raised for hunger programs in the 12 county area served by the organization.
The Empty Bowls event hosted some 700 people in October for a ticketed soup lunch provided by local restaurants and food service providers at the Wichita Falls Museum of Art at Midwestern State University.
Along with lunch, guests at the event had the opportunity to select a handcrafted ceramic bowl from hundreds provided by the MSU Ceramics Department and other area ceramicists as a reminder of the empty bowls in the North Texas area. Empty Bowls events have been held around the country for the past two decades but this marks first time the event has been adopted locally as a signature event for the Food Bank.
"We are thrilled at the community response to Empty Bowls," said Paula Perkins, co-chair of the event, along with Leslie Schaffner. "Hunger is an issue with which everyone can identify because food is a basic human need. With each dollar raised, the Food Bank can provide five meals. The success of this event means an additional 320,695 meals for North Texans in need!"
The WFAFB has experienced an 88% increase in need from its partner agencies over the past five years. Currently one in six people in the Food Bank service area struggles with hunger; many of them children.
Overall, the Food Bank serves over 40,000 clients through more than 150 partner agencies in the 12 county area.