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Feeding a need: St. Luke’s Church to host ‘Empty Bowls’ fundraiser Saturday

OBSERVER Photo by Eric Tichy St. Luke’s Episcopal Church in Jamestown will host its second “Empty Bowls” fundraiser from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday. Janet Card, left, and Nicole Gustafson are pictured with some of the bowls that will be available at the event.

St. Luke’s Episcopal Church will host its second “Empty Bowls” fundraiser this Saturday to assist people facing food insecurity.

This year’s event will be held from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the church’s undercroft at the corner of East Fourth and North Main streets in Jamestown.

“This is a long-standing event that made its south county debut last year,” said the Rev. Luke Fodor, pastor at St. Luke’s. “It was quite a successful event that allowed us to raise over $10,000 for hunger-related causes, both sponsoring the Jamestown Mobile Market that takes food to the food desert areas as well as FeedMore WNY. … This is our second effort to kind of partner with local area potters.”

Similar to last year, locally made bowls will be available for a donation during Saturday’s fundraiser.

“Folks are able to pick a bowl and take it and give it away to a loved one or just put it in their own collection,” Fodor said.

In addition to free soup that will be served at the church, the event also will include a raffle.

Fodor said the Empty Bowls fundraiser, successfully held in the north county for many years, allows people to “do good for the community, helping folks who are in need because of hunger-related issues.”

He added, “It’s an opportunity to really celebrate the spirit of Christmas, which is all about the joy of giving gifts and reflecting the gift that started it all. It’s an opportunity for us to celebrate life.”

Volunteers are welcome to help serve soup and handle the bowls that will be available.

Fodor said more space will be made this year to highlight all of the potters’ bowls. “We’re just trying to fine-tune this in our second year,” he said.

Gift cards for the raffle are being donated by Art Cloth and Craft, Chautauqua Art Gallery, BioDome Project, Labyrinth Press Company and Crown Street Roasting. The Ashville General Store is donating the soup.

Empty Bowls is known as a grassroots movement around the world that raises money for food-related charities and organizations to care for and feed the hungry in their communities.

Locally, funds raised by St. Luke’s will go toward its mobile market and FeedMore WNY, which offer food bank locations and a Meals on Wheels program

A nonprofit organization, FeedMore WNY said its food bank program distributed more than 17 million pounds of fresh and shelf-stable food to nearly 300 pantries, soup kitchens, emergency shelters and other hunger-relief agencies throughout Erie, Niagara, Cattaraugus and Chautauqua counties.

Fodor said FeedMore WNY is able to assist people facing food insecurity on an emergency basis. He said that’s combined with the mobile market that promotes healthy eating.

“The program is also about local produce, growing food yourself,” he said of the market.

About 20 potters made handmade bowls for an Empty Bowls fundraiser held last month at Wheelock School in Fredonia. Almost $26,000 was raised this year.

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