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'Empty Bowls' fundraiser to benefit Fayette County food bank, recipients

The Empty Bowls event will be held from noon to 4:30 p.m. June 1 at the Fayette County Community Action Agency adult recreation center. Preparing for the event are (from left) FCCAA Director of Community Services Tammy Knouse, FCCAA Nutrition Director Lora Thresher and event coordinator Teresa Rouse.

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A wonderful bowl of homemade soup is a comfort food at its best, but for many families in the area, any type of food would be a comfort since times are hard and budgets are tight.

Reaching out to the hundreds of families in need in the Fay-West area, the Fayette County Community Action Agency will host its first Empty Bowls fundraiser to benefit the agency's food bank and its recipients. The event will be held from noon to 4:30 p.m. June 1 at the Fayette County Community Action Agency adult recreation center, 137 N. Beeson Ave., Uniontown.

The site is the former Uniontown Senior Center.

“We would like to bring hunger awareness to this community event and to show how many people miss a meal right here in Fayette County,” FCCAA CEO James Stark said, adding that the agency is sending out an appeal for support for the event. “We need help from local businesses, churches, politicians, schools and community residents.”

Each person who participates in the fundraising event will have the opportunity to choose a handmade ceramic bowl that is being specially crafted for the event by several groups and artists in the area.

Participants then will be given the option to choose from one of the homemade soups that will be available and will receive a slice of homemade bread.

Hot and cold beverages will also be a part of the humble meal that is being prepared by local chefs and restaurateurs.

In Fayette County alone, there are more than 20,000 people at risk of hunger and one in five children do not know what their next meal will be or where it will come from.

The local Empty Bowls fundraiser is part of a grassroots effort to fight hunger, and the ceramic bowls that will be distributed are to act as a reminder to all of those in whose actual bowls at home are empty.

The local event will feature some local celebrity servers, a Chinese raffle and music.

“We serve 49 food pantries in the county,” FCCAA director of Community service Tammy Knouse said. “Every month, there are about 10,000 people who seek our help.”

The event coordinators are seeking event sponsors, raffle donations and chefs or interested parties who would like to make and donate soup for the event.

“They can just call us and tell us what they would be interested in making,” event coordinator Teresa Rouse said. “We would really like to have a variety of soup, and we are also asking that they prepare at least five gallons.”

The event is also in need of volunteers.

Knouse said that they hope to make this a yearly fundraising event and has already received positive support from community members and businesses in the area.

“We have received some really good feedback already,” Knouse said. “We hope to see even more support from the community to help the hungry in Fayette County.”

Tickets will be $10 in advance and $15 at the door and children under the age of 5 can eat for free.

For information on the event that includes volunteering, sponsoring, ticket purchase or soup preparation, call Rouse at 724-437-6050, ext 1215.

Marilyn Forbes is a contributing writer for Trib Total Media.

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