AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF)– Though many of us are fortunate enough to eat three healthy meals a day, some people in our community struggle for one.
The 2017 Empty Bowl event took place Sunday to raise funds for two impactful organizations– Golden Harvest Food Bank and The Jewish Community Center.
Golden Harvest statistics say one in four children in Georgia and South Carolina live in families at or below the federal poverty level.
These children often receive free meals through programs on school days, but these same children risk going hungry on weekends and out-of-school breaks.
Money raised at the Empty Bowl event makes it possible for not only children, but also adults, to receive meals when nothing is in their refrigerator.
Empty Bowl is one of the largest annual events in the C.S.R.A., bringing people together from all walks of life for one mission: to support locals who are hungry.
“It does, it involves the restaurants, the community coming today, but it also involves children. We work with the schools to get the bowls you get to pick up as your take home today,” Carrie Jones, Event Coordinator at Golden Harvest said.
More than four thousand students in Richmond, Columbia, Aiken and Burke counties handmade ceramic bowls for the cause.
Heather Staneszewski, the art teacher representing the schools, said the food bank serves students in these counties. Making bowls gives them a chance to give back to a cause they also receive from.
“It’s to the artist’s eye on how they want to do them– with what colors they use, how they speckle them or add designs on them,” Staneszewski explained.
Staniszewski said she spotted several students at Sunday’s event. One student in the crowd was Chris Ali, winner of the annual t-shirt design contest: “I drew a guy holding two bowls ‘ending hunger together’. So, what I did was put ‘ending’ on a poster and ‘2017’ on the bottom of the poster to represent what it means. Nobody needs to be out there homeless and hungry. Everybody needs that chance to have food, so this is why I did it.”
Carrie Jones said Golden Harvest is currently distributing more than one million pounds of food each month. Since this is one of the largest fund raisers each year, many families will benefit from the community’s support.
“This is a great time of the year for us. You know, we’re just fortunate. We’ve got a beautiful day today… we’ve got a lot of folks turning out. Just happy this is going on today,” Jones concluded.