Cars streamed through the Edmonds Methodist Church parking lot Wednesday afternoon as volunteers led the way to bowls and containers of soup — all to benefit the Edmonds Food Bank through its annual Empty Bowl fundraiser.
“Thank you to the entire Edmonds community for the amazing generosity of both businesses and individuals especially now during COVID-19,” said Edmonds Food Bank Executive Director and President Casey Davis, who along with her team of 20 volunteers earned the 2020 Citizen of the Year award from the Edmonds Kiwanis Club.
During in past years’ Empty Bowl events, individuals were able to visit Glazed and Amazed — one of the event sponsors — purchase and decorate a bowl, and then donate the bowls directly to the Edmonds Food Bank for use during the fundraiser. This year, however, due to COVID-19, take-home bowl kits were purchased by 177 people throughout the summer, with proceeds going to the Empty Bowl event.
The Edmonds Food Bank serves between 300 and 400 families per week and provides 170,000 pounds of food each month to those who need it. Davis, who doesn’t refer to individuals who use the food bank as clients but as customers, has seen significant increases in food bank use. And she expects to see even more customers as winter and the holidays get closer, heating bills rise, and people have to make hard choices between food and other life necessities.
The empty bowl symbolizes the only food some people may eat in an entire day, but Davis said that for the food bank, it signifies simplicity, with the idea that simple can be good and healthy.
Both soup sponsors this year, Chef Dane and Navi’s Catering, did not disappoint the more than 40 cars that drove into the specially designed food bank parking lot Wednesday. Chef Dane offered a ginger carrot stew soup and Navi’s Catering, a clam chowder. The Edmonds Bakery, which gave out bread and cookies.
It’s not too late to donate to the Edmonds Empty Bowl fundraiser, which runs through Oct. 31. Donation information can be found at edmondsfoodbank.org/donate.
Presenting sponsors Windermere Real Estate and Univera matched the first $20,000 raised at the Empty Bowl Event, and $16 of the $20 cost went directly to the Edmonds Food Bank. Additional event sponsors included the Hazel Miller Foundation, Verdant Health Commission, Hubbard Family Foundation, Employees Community Fund of Boeing, Snohomish County PUD, Snohomish County Food Bank Coalition, Edmonds Petanque Club, Sound Steppers Volkssport Club, Lions International, and Homeward Pet, First Financial Northwest Bank, The Branding Iron and Cline Jewelers.
— Story and photos by Misha Carter