By Charly SHELTON
Hunger is an ever-present issue for many around the world. Approximately 795 million people worldwide struggle with getting enough to eat – 12.9% of the population of the world, or one in nine people. In America, the numbers are similar – 41 million Americans, or 12.5% of the population, are undernourished. And each year, the Crescenta Valley United Methodist Church does its part to lower that number, even if only a bit.
Empty Bowls is a fundraiser that the church holds every year in which congregants – the church’s preschool kids and students from the ceramics class at Crescenta Valley High – provide ceramic bowls they have made that are sold, then filled, with a soup dinner. The money raised benefits local groups that fight hunger and homelessness.
“We can’t save everybody but your $20 will feed a family for a month. Your $20 will help somebody with counseling so they can make a fresh start,” said Pastor Steve Marshall of Crescenta Valley United Methodist Church. “So it really does make an impact because these organizations we’re [working with] are volunteer led and your money makes a [difference in] serving those who are in greatest need.”
Empty Bowls is a night of community, fundraising and soup. After guests buy their bowls, they can take them to one of the many tureens filled with hot soup provided by local restaurant vendors. It’s a great way to try some new restaurants, get to know community members and join the fight against hunger.
“We hear on the news the need for the services for the homeless and hungry, seniors, homeless veterans and women on the street. Here’s a specific step you can take to help turn the tide, and that’s our theme this year – Turn the Tide of Hunger,” Marshall said.
The proceeds from the event will go to benefit three organizations that work to fight hunger – the Bailey Center of Tujunga, which operates as a food bank, clothes donation distribution center and, in inclement weather, a shelter. Friends Indeed is a full-service shelter, food bank and counseling center to help homeless get off the street for good. And World Service Fund helps mainly overseas where poverty and lack of access to resources like food and water are daily concerns.
Empty Bowls will be held at the Crescenta Valley United Methodist Church, 2700 Montrose Ave. on Saturday, Nov. 3 from 4:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. For anyone who still wants to purchase a bowl and help the hungry but can’t attend the dinner, the unsold bowls will be available for sale at the Prom Plus Holiday Boutique on Sunday, Nov. 10.
For details, visit www.umc.org/find-a-church/church/75302.