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Filling 'Empty Bowls' for ID Families in Need This Holiday Season

Empty Bowls event on November 23, 2018 in Boise, Idaho, which raised about $43,000. (The Idaho Foodbank)
Empty Bowls event on November 23, 2018 in Boise, Idaho, which raised about $43,000. (The Idaho Foodbank)
November 26, 2019

BOISE, Idaho — It's the 22nd year of Empty Bowls, a post-Thanksgiving tradition in Boise to ensure fewer people are without food this holiday season.

The Idaho Foodbank's annual affair will be held on Friday, November 29, and will offer soup bowls made by local artisans starting at $10. Members of the community can buy the bowls and get them filled, simulating a soup line. Money is raised to provide meals for those in need during the holidays.

Carlyn Blake, development manager with The Idaho Foodbank, said many Idahoans are just one paycheck away from needing to utilize her organization's services.

"Their furnace breaks down or they have a medical procedure and they need a little bit of help during the holidays,” Blake said. “And so, we're really hoping to provide just a little peace and happiness during the holiday seasons to those who are experiencing hunger."

Blake noted that 1 in 8 Idahoans, including 1 in 6 children, is unsure where their next meal will come from - considered food insecure. The Foodbank's goal is to provide 250,000 meals this season.

Blake said every dollar donated can provide enough food for up to five meals. The Foodbank is a statewide nonprofit with facilities in Boise, Lewiston and Pocatello.

Empty Bowls will be at the Grove Plaza in downtown Boise from 10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. And Blake said people line up early to participate.

"Everybody who stands in line for soup is there because they want to make sure that they're giving back to the community and providing a little bit of hope during the holidays,” she said.

In 2018, Empty Bowls raised about $43,000 for 217,000 meals. The event is part of the Hope for the Holidays drive, with events happening around the state to help feed families this time of year.

Eric Tegethoff, Public News Service - ID