• Laurel Contributor

Making & Filling Empty Bowls

by Jenny King

As we near the season of giving, the weather is cool, the leaves are changing, and you may be planning your holiday gatherings. Before you go any further, please consider what winter on the Plateau means for some.

As businesses curtail hours and clubs take a winter’s break, where do those employees find work; and what about the people who work in landscaping and construction? That’s where we come in.

On Sunday, October 6, the Empty Bowls project comes to Highlands and Cashiers. This grassroots movement helps provide much needed funds for the Highlands Food Pantry and the Fishes and Loaves Food Pantry in Cashiers.

It’s thanks to these organizations that people in need can feed their families. You’d be surprised how many people utilize their services. The percentages are daunting. There are 14 percent of Macon County residents who suffer some form of food insecurity, and in Jackson County 16 percent of the population needs help in feeding their families. Though many of us may not realize the grave disparities that exist in our own communities, people struggle with hunger right here. They are our neighbors, kids in our children’s classes, the person beside you in church; the possibilities go on.

So what exactly is Empty Bowls? It’s a time to share in homemade soup served in a hand-made, one-of-a-kind bowl which you may take home. Bowls are created by local potters, including Justin Allman of Firemoss Pottery, Ned Turnbull, Pat Moore, and David Pitelka.

All you need to do is head to the First Presbyterian Church in Highlands from 11:30 A.M. until 1:30 P.M., buy your ticket for $25, pick up your bowl, and enjoy a meal. Tickets may be purchased in advance from the International Friendship Center and at InternationalFriendshipCenter.org.

In Cashiers join the Ninth Annual Soup Luncheon for Empty Bowls at the Orchard Restaurant Event Barn on Highway 107 South. It’s being held from noon until 2:00 P.M. and supports the Fishes and Loaves Food Pantry.

If you’re unable to attend, donations are gratefully accepted. For more information, call Andrea Smith at the International Friendship Center in Highlands, (828) 526-0890, and in Cashiers, please call Carole Stork at (828) 743-3222.

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