Annual fundraiser helps feed the hungry

Friday, Sep. 22, 2023
Annual fundraiser helps feed the hungry + Enlarge
Empty Bowls, Catholic Community Services’ annual fundraiser for the St. Vincent de Paul Dining Hall, helps provide meals for the homeless.
By Laura Vallejo
Intermountain Catholic

SALT LAKE CITY — Empty Bowls, the annual fundraiser for Catholic Community Services of Utah’s St. Vincent de Paul Dining Hall, took place Sept. 15 at the FFKR Architects building in Salt Lake City.

Hundreds attended the event, which offered one-of-a-kind, hand-crafted bowls by local artists. The bowls started at $20; all proceeds went toward St. Vincent de Paul Dining Hall’s mission of feeding the hungry in the community.

According to CCS, one in nine Utahns, or about 347,370 people struggle with hunger. “The mission of St. Vincent de Paul Dining Hall is to decrease that statistic by providing meals to those in need and those impacted by homelessness,” the non-profit organization states.

The dining hall, located in downtown Salt Lake City, serves two meals daily. It also caters for two meals daily to six other homeless services providers in the area, totaling over 2,000 meals a day.

The Empty Bowls fundraiser event began in 2004; since then, it has raised around $15,000 annually.

Among those at the Sept. 15 event was Deborah Mort, who has attended the event for the past five years, even when it was held virtually due to the pandemic.

“I am very happy that we can, once again, be together celebrating our community and at the same time helping those most in need,” said Mort, a St. Marguerite parishioner.

Attending the event brings her joy, she said. “Besides contributing to the community, I get to get some beautiful pottery bowls that I give to my relatives as Christmas presents,” she said.

Each $20 bowl sold at the event helps provide warm meals to about 20 homeless individuals at the dining hall.

The knowledge that by purchasing the bowls “I am helping to feed those most in need and at the same time bringing joy to my family is something very special for me,” Mort said adding that another thing that she loves about the fundraiser is that each bowl is unique.

“This year’s turnout was great,” said Kearstin Fernandez, communications director for CCS. “It’s very good to see how the community supports the work that is done at Saint Vincent’s, making sure that everyone in our community has access to food.”

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