At March event, diners eat soup to help feed others

By Marita Bon
Copyright StarNews 2012
Reprinted with permission

When area residents take their places in a soup line this spring, they’ll replicate a situation that has become a matter of routine for thousands of local individuals and families in need.

All proceeds of Empty Bowls 2012, 11 a.m.-2 p.m. March 23, support Good Shepherd Center and Mother Hubbard’s Cupboard, local nonprofits that provide meals and groceries to the area’s hungry.

Jane Radack of Mother Hubbard’s Cupboard, who’s spearheading Empty Bowls’ sponsorship drive, said hunger is not restricted to stereotypes – it afflicts people of all ages and backgrounds.

“The face of hunger in Wilmington may be the mom of three teenage boys whose hours were cut from 40 to 20 by a boss trying to keep all his employees in at least a part-time job,” she explained. “Or it could be the retired grandfather down your street who suddenly finds himself responsible for feeding his grandkids.”

According to Radack, one-fifth of Mother Hubbard’s clients are children.

“The youngsters that come to us wake up hungry, attend school hungry and go to bed hungry,” she said. “While we do serve the homeless and the mentally ill, they represent less than 10 percent of the 2,500 people we serve each month.”

A majority of the agency’s clients are the working poor or folks who suddenly find themselves in some sort of financial crisis.

Mother Hubbard’s Cupboard distributed about a half-million pounds of food in 2011, a significant increase over prior years, while Good Shepherd’s soup kitchen served 77,588 meals in the past 12 months.

Due to the high demand, Empty Bowls planners strongly encourage purchasing tickets in advance. They will be available at: Blue Moon Gift Shop, First Baptist Activity Center, Good Shepherd Center, Grace United Methodist Church, Jester’s Java, New Elements, Spectrum Gallery and Temptations at the Porters Neck and Hanover Center locations.

Businesses and individuals can support Empty Bowls 2012 through sponsorship opportunities, Radack said. To find out more, call her at 793-9236.

Facts

Empty Bowls 2012

When: 11 a.m. -2 p.m. Friday, March 23
Where: First Baptist Activity Building, 1939 Independence Blvd.
What: For a $15 ticket, guests can dine on soup donated by more than 25 area restaurants and also take home a one-of-a-kind bowl created and donated by local potters. Take-out is also available.
Why: Proceeds support Good Shepherd Center and Mother Hubbard’s Cupboard.

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