OCTOBER 2, 2013

13th Annual Foothills Empty Bowls Project Lunch set for Friday, Oct. 18

With upcoming cuts to food stamp funding, demand for services expected to increase
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empty bowlsCAREFREE – The Sonoran Arts League, the Town of Carefree and Carefree Resort & Conference Center are inviting the public to help fight hunger at the 13th Annual Foothills Empty Bowls Project Lunch set for Friday, Oct. 18 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Carefree Town Center.

Patrons can acquire an original, hand-crafted ceramic or glass bowl and a pasta lunch provided by Carefree Resort & Conference Center for a suggested donation of $15. Guests are also encouraged to bid on the artwork offered by members of the Sonoran Arts League in the silent auction. Credit cards are accepted. All proceeds benefit the Foothills Food Bank and Resource Center.

The Empty Bowls Project, an international effort to fight hunger, was started in the fall of 1990 by two potters in Michigan to help raise money for a Thanksgiving fund drive for a local food bank. Since then, the idea has spread around the world.

The Foothills Empty Bowls Project began 13 years ago with only 850 bowls. Today, thanks to the efforts of local artists and students, more than 2,000 bowls will be available to generate much needed funds for The Foothills Food Bank, which assists families who reside in Anthem, New River, Desert Hills, Carefree, Cave Creek and other North Valley areas.

Pam DiPietro, the food bank’s executive director, said it takes approximately 30 pounds of food to feed one individual for three days. She estimates the value of that food to be approximately $64.

And while the economy is slowly bouncing back from the Great Recession, the recent news of upcoming federal cuts to food stamp programs has DiPietro concerned.

“We’re anticipating a sharp increase in demand for services,” DiPietro said. “People are still struggling to make ends meet…that’s why events like Empty Bowls are so important to us.”

Carole Perry, Empty Bowls Chair and a long-time member of the Sonoran Arts League, is credited with bringing the popular event to the Desert Foothills. She hopes the event will increase awareness of the many services provided by the Foothills Food Bank.

“Many people don’t realize that paper products and many toiletries can’t be purchased with food stamps. And, the Foothills Food Bank also helps people in dire need by paying utility, medical or other bills if they qualify for assistance.” Perry said. “Monetary donations are just as vital to the food bank as the actual food.”

DiPietro said the Food Bank hopes to clear $20,000 with this year’s event.

“Empty Bowls exemplifies how our local community can make a difference,” she said.

“Volunteers organize and manage the event and all services are donated. Literally, 100 percent of proceeds benefit our food bank.”

For more information about the 13th Annual Foothills Empty Bowls Project, call 480-488-1145 or visit www.foothillsfoodbank.com or www.SonoranArtsLeague.org.

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