CCS hosts virtual Empty Bowls campaign to help feed the hungry in Salt Lake City
Friday, Aug. 06, 2021
SALT LAKE CITY – An empty bowl is a common sight for those who struggle with homelessness and obtaining enough to eat. That image also has become a symbol for a fundraising campaign that seeks to alleviate the hunger that these individuals often experience.
Catholic Community Services launched this year’s Empty Bowls campaign virtually; it will continue through the end of the month. As in the past, all proceeds will benefit CCS’ St. Vincent de Paul dining hall in Salt Lake City, which provides meals to people in need.
In normal years, the Empty Bowls event is held at a site where contributors can choose their own bowl, but this year, with the pandemic still surging in Utah, the 20-year-old fundraiser will be held virtually. Last year, because of the pandemic, it was canceled, but in 2019 Empty Bowls raised more than $15,000.
“This brings awareness of what we are doing at St. Vincent de Paul [dining hall]” and shows how many people CCS can feed with $20 – the cost of a bowl, said CCS Basic Needs Director Randy Chappell. “In past years, Empty Bowls has been a huge success. It provides something for the buyer (a bowl), and it also provides something for CCS – a return where we can feed the homeless. … I think it is a great opportunity for people to be aware of what CCS does in the dining hall and also go home with something nice.”
Purchase of a $20 bowl provides 10 meals for those who are experiencing homelessness. According to the USDA’s latest Household Food Insecurity in the United States report, more than 35 million people in the U.S. experienced hunger in 2019. In Utah, 347,370 people struggle with hunger. St. Vincent de Paul dining hall serves two meals daily onsite in addition to catering those meals to six other local homeless service providers, for a total of more than 2,000 meals each day.
To participate in the Empty Bowls campaign, visit www.ccsutah.org/empty-bowls through Aug. 31 to order a one-of-a-kind, hand-crafted bowl donated by Clay Arts Utah. (Ordering specific bowls is not an option; bowl numbers are limited). The bowls can be picked up from St. Vincent de Paul dining hall Sept. 7-10. Those who purchase a bowl will also receive a complimentary serving of soup from the dining hall.