By Sandi Latimer
Colorful leaves swirling, sweaters coming out of summer storage, and pots of soup simmering in crock pots mean Empty Bowls is near.
Empty Bowls for the past 16 years has been raising money for the Mid-Ohio Foodbank so it can acquire food to help the less fortunate residents of Franklin County.
Empty Bowls lunches – or what looks like soup smorgasbords – are held at several Columbus Recreation and Parks facilities or churches near such a facility. Besides eating soup and bread for a suggested donation of $10, diners also get to choose a hand-made bowl.
Some places offer up to 15 different varieties of soup, said Wendy Frantz in the Recreation and Parks Department’s Community Recreation office.
In the five years that she has been in that position, she has tried to get to as many serving locations as possible.
“But with a three-hour serving window, it’s difficult,” she said. “It’s nice to see all the people raising money for a good cause. And there are so many volunteers.”
Bowls are made by participants at the CRP facilities shaped out of clay, fired in kilns, painted and glazed.
“Empty Bowls are made in the classes at the centers,” Frantz said. “We have a partnership with churches where their members will come in and make bowls.”
In the past 16 years, the effort, part of an International Fight Against Hunger, has raised more than $177,000 for the Mid-Ohio Foodbank.
On the westside, Empty Bowl lunches of soup and bread will be served from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Nov. 8 at the Hillcrest Baptist Church, 2480 W. Broad St., and at the Parkview United Methodist Church, 344 S. Algonquin.
The opening event is Nov. 1 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the First Unitarian Universalist Church at 93 W. Weisheimer Road. The closing event is Dec. 11 from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the Columbus Cultural Arts Center, 139 W. Main St.
Other locations throughout the county:
•Nov. 5, 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Gillie Center on Morse Road
•Nov. 7, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.Whetstone Community Center, 3293 N. High St.
•Nov. 8, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., St. Luke Lutheran Church, 4456 Morse Road and Woodward Park Community Center, 5147 Karl Road
•Nov. 9, noon to 2 p.m., Eastminster Presbyterian Church, 3100 E. Broad St.
•Nov. 9, 11:30 a.m.to 12:30 p.m., North Unitarian Universalist Congregation, 1574 Franklin St., Lewis Center
•Nov. 11, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., Altercare of Canal Winchester, 6925 Thrush Dr., Canal Winchester
•Nov. 12, 5 to 7 p.m., Serving with Honor – OSU Kuhn Honors and Scholars House, 220 W. 12th Ave.
•Dec. 5, 5:30 p.m., Grand Illumination Bicentennial Park in downtown Columbus