Empty Bowls Florida hopes to end hunger - WFLA News Channel 8

Empty Bowls Florida hopes to end hunger

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Several members of WFLA's Storm Team made wooden bowls for Saturday's event in Clearwater. Several members of WFLA's Storm Team made wooden bowls for Saturday's event in Clearwater.
CLEARWATER, FL (WFLA) -

A Bay area event designed to bring awareness to hunger was held Saturday at an eatery in Pinellas County.

Empty Bowls Florida is part of an international grassroots effort to make sure there is enough food to go around. The Imagine Render Group first created the initiative in 1990.

Lenny’s Restaurant in Clearwater hosted Saturday’s Empty Bowls gathering. Bennett Farrell, a local woodworker and artisan, partnered with several businesses to create the wooden bowls used by organizers of the event.

A soup-kitchen style lunch was served at Lenny’s and those who made a donation got to keep their handcrafted wooden bowls as a reminder of all the ‘empty bowls in the world’

All proceeds collecting Saturday go to Feeding America Tampa Bay and for every dollar donated Feeding America distributes nine healthy meals on behalf of Bay area food banks. Farrell’s goal this year is to raise $3,000 through the Empty Bowls Florida project.

Debbie McCarthy, the director of development for Feeding America Tampa Bay, says every little bit helps.

“There are about 689,000 persons in the Tampa Bay area who are not sure about where their next meal will come from,” McCarthy says of the plight of hunger in our area.

Volunteers who came out to assist Farrell in make the bowls came from all over. Many Bay area businesses hold bowl-making sessions every year to help out.

Craftsmen, wood shop students from Clearwater High School have donated their time. Alan Rosenthal, candidate for Circuit Judge, created two bowls, and Leigh Spann and Steve Jervey from the News Channel 8 Storm Team have tried their hand at woodturning.

“Each person that's helped is now a creator and an artist,” Farrell says. “They've done something remarkable that will help a lot of needy people.”

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