Record 299 Empty Bowls sold at 2-day feast
A grand total of 299 people enjoyed tasty luncheons and took home pottery creations as reminders when the 2018 Empty Bowls event was hosted by UHS and Compass Group last week.
The number of tickets sold has increased from 122 in 2005, the first year of the annual fundraiser, to 299 this year. This year's total also exceeded every previous year's, including 2017's, which was 225.
Organizers have received many positive comments about the wide variety of food offered during the lunches.
A mashed potato bar featured freshly smashed red-skin potatoes and your choice of Texas chili, chicken Mediterranean, crisp bacon strips, chicken spiedies or beef stroganoff, and cheese or butter toppings.
Attendees also could dine on Thai food, offered at a station that included Pad Thai rice noodles, eggs, chicken breast, scallions and chilis, tossed with a Pad Thai sauce. Another selection from Thailand was red curried tofu and broccoli served over jasmine rice.
There were also four soups to choose from, plus a salad station, a beverage station and a variety of fresh fruits.
Most folks didn't pass up the dessert bar, which included cookies, cupcakes, yogurt parfaits and triple-berry pound cake.
The pottery bowls were made by craftspeople from Clayworks at the Roberson Museum.
The event was held April 4 at UHS Wilson and April 5 at UHS Binghamton General.
Those attending showed their support for the cause of fighting hunger in the community by donating $25 per ticket. Of that amount, $20 benefits the work of the Food Bank of the Southern Tier and $5 goes to the UHS Foundation's Stop Hunger Fund.
More than 141,000 meals for those in need have been funded by the UHS Empty Bowls event since 2005.
For every ticket sold for the luncheons, the Food Bank provides 75 meals to the hungry in the Southern Tier.
Most of the assistance is furnished to people in Broome County, with residents of Chemung, Schuyler, Steuben, Tioga and Tompkins counties also receiving food donations.