Soup or Socks Empty Bowls Fundraiser Raises Hunger Awareness

Empty Bowls to be Held Saturday, March 9

Marshfield, WI (OnFocus) Hunger strikes every community, but there’s something we can do about it.

This is the idea driving Empty Bowls, a hunger awareness event and fundraiser for local food pantry Soup or Socks now entering its 8th year. Started by an art teacher in Michigan, the event has since spread to to other communities like Marshfield.

The event will be held at Hotel Marshfield on Saturday, March 9 from 11-2 p.m. Each person receives a bowl of soup prepared by local businesses and a keepsake ceramic bowl handmade by artists in the community.

Demand at Soup or Socks in 2018 was 52% higher than the previous year and approximately 36,570 meals were provided for 2,442 adults and children, said Soup or Socks director Cheryl Lewis Hartl. The food pantry provides enough food for three meals a day for each household member.

The pantry doesn’t set a goal for the Empty Bowls event, except to spread awareness. The 2018 event raised $14,000, which is used for purchasing perishable items and stocking shelves.

For $10, guests will receive one bowl of soup or choose the flight option of three smaller bowls of soups. One large bowl and a flight can both be purchased for $15.

“The proceeds help Soup or Socks to maintain their mission to serve Marshfield and the surrounding area,” said Lewis Hartl. “Each ticket can provide eggs for 10 families, pasta for 7 households or a produce coupon for 1 household. In 2018, we averaged 100 households a month.”

Empty Bowls is also about bringing awareness of the needs in the community, like the clothes closet. “The increase in need there for 2018 was 54% higher than in 2017. We helped 109 children with back-to-school clothing,” she said. “We also, in collaboration with Keep Kids Warm, helped 35 families with adult coats, children’s boots and snow pants.”

New to the 2019 Empty Bowls are grab bags with a handcrafted bowl and additional surprise, for $10 each. There will be 50/50 and basket raffles. Guests can also purchase items from the displays.

Tickets can be purchased in advance by calling Soup or Socks at 715- 387-1796, or get them at the door.