'Empty Bowls' fill the need for High Desert's hungry

NeighborImpact's yearly event provide vital funds for food bank

NeighborImpact fills 'Empty Bowls'

BEND, Ore. - NeighborImpact's 13th annual "Empty Bowls" event was held Sunday at Central Oregon Community College, to raise money and awareness in the fight against hunger in Central Oregon.

Around 800 people attended the event. A long line of people at COCC, eagerly waiting to pick their perfect bowl.

"It looks like a dragon," said Leslie Weaver, one of the many attending the event. "I just thought it was fabulous."

"It's got this little lip, and it's deep, so you can use it to pour. So you could use it for soup," said Diane Marsch of the bowl she found.

The bowls are made by various potteries and students from all over the community throughout the year.

"We have all skill levels of people who want to donate," said John Kinder, resident artist for the event. "We facilitate programs throughout the year, so people can come and make a bowl by hand. Or they can get on the pottery wheel for the experienced potter and can try to throw them."

Once the bowl is picked, it's time to fill it with some delicious soup, provided by the Cascade Culinary Institute.

"It's a great event for the community," said Linda Zivney, who attended the event.

NeighborImpact spokesman Jason Carr said, "It's a fundraiser and also a 'friend-raiser,' where we engage with people in the community and help to raise funds for our local food bank."

Last year's event helped NeighborImpact, a 21 Cares For Kids partner, serve 55,000 Central Oregonians - or one in four.

"I think many people don't realize that poverty in Central Oregon remains a big issue," Carr said.

About 20 percent of families in both Crook and Jefferson counties and 15 percent in Deschutes County live in poverty.

Many volunteers and sponsors, including NewsChannel 21, helped put on the event. The station's Matt McDonald was helping out as well.

Organizers hope the event will have a lasting effect.

"When you take the bowl home, it's a reminder of those who are in need, and that we always need to be helping those in the community who don't have as much as maybe the rest of us do," Carr said.

For more information on how to help fight hunger in Central Oregon, visit NeighborImpact's Website:

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