By Sandi Latimer
Residents in need of food are often dependent upon the food pantries. They are also dependent upon the generosity of Franklin County residents.
In addition to direct donations of money and non-perishable food, often through food drives at businesses, the popular Empty Bowls project helps considerably.
“In the past 20 years, Empty Bowls has raised $257,000 to benefit the Mid-Ohio Foodbank,” said Marilyn Tomasi, a spokeswoman for the Foodbank.
It is the Mid-Ohio Foodbank that provides food to the numerous food pantries in the county and also provides space for the Kroger Community Food Bank to operate out of its Grove City headquarters.
Empty Bowls, a project of the Columbus Recreation and Parks, has raised thousands of dollars. In 2016, it raised $20,403 and in 2017 by extending the project to Winterfest the first weekend in December, it produced $31,210.
Every dollar donated can provide four meals, Tomasi said.
People who participate in the month-long program can enjoy a bowl of soup, or two or three, often homemade, for $10, and have the opportunity to go home with a hand-made ceramic bowl made at a recreation and parks site. For Tomasi, and many others, the bowls make their way to holiday gifts.
The Empty Bowls schedule as provided by Columbus Recreation and Parks:
• Nov. 1 to Nov. 3 – Gillie Community Center, 2100 Morse Road, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. each day
• Nov. 9 – Whetstone Community Center, 3923 N. High St., from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.
• Nov. 10 – Beautiful Savior Lutheran Church, 2213 White Road in Grove City, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
-Hillcrest Baptist Church, 2480 W. Broad St., from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
-Parkview United Methodist Church, 344 S. Algonquin Ave., from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
-St. Luke Lutheran Church, 4456 Morse Road, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
– Tuttle Park Community Center, 240 W. Oakland Ave., from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
• Nov. 11 – North Unitarian Universalist Congregation, 1574 Franklin St., Lewis Center, from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and Eastminster Presbyterian Church at Trinity Lutheran Seminary at Capital University, 2199 E. Main St., Bexley, from noon to 2 p.m.
• Nov. 13 – Altercare of Canal Winchester, 6725 Thrush Drive in Canal Winchester, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
• Nov. 14 – Martin Janis Community Center, 600 E. 11th Ave., from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
• Nov. 15 – Schiller Community Center, 1069 Jaeger St., from 5 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
• Nov. 17 – Woodward Park Community Center, 5147 Karl Road, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
For more information, visit www.columbus.gov/emptybowls.