Robin Rannels, a volunteer for the Ely Area Food Shelf, serves a bowl of soup to Andy Dunn, 12, at the fourth annual Empty Bowl fundraising event.
ELY – More than 200 people were served a simple supper of soup and bread at the fourth annual Empty Bowl Tuesday evening, and they helped raised about $3,500 for the Ely Area Food Shelf.
Ely Community Potters, with the help of art students in Ely schools, produced hundreds of pottery bowls for the annual benefit.
“Their roles, in combination with other craftspeople, educators and other volunteers in the community, help in the effort to feed the hungry in our midst through the Empty Bowl right here in Ely,” said coordinator Marian Klobuchar.
Empty Bowls is an international grassroots effort to end hunger and was created by The Imagine Render Group. Each community’s event is self-developed and operates independently, designed around their needs. Empty Bowls are held in many cities across the United States and at least a dozen other countries, and have raised millions of dollars to help end food insecurity, she said.
With the suggested donation of $15 per person, $25/family, participants were able to choose a handcrafted bowl and enjoy a simple meal of soup, artisan bread and beverage.
Four area restaurants donated up to six gallons each of their favorite creations. Area restaurants participating this year included: The Boathouse Brew Pub with Cheesy Chicken Chipotle Wild Rice soup; Ely Steak House, Bucky Burger Chowder; Front Porch Coffee and Tea Co., Vegetarian Chili; and Sir G’s, New England Clam Chowder.
In addition, the Jasper Company Bake Shop, formerly The Basketry, provided artisan breads in wheat, oatmeal and white varieties. Plum Bun Bakery provided dinner rolls. Zup’s Market donated juice and milk. Northland Market provided coffee, creamers and butter.
“We couldn’t do this without the help of the Ely community,” Klobuchar said.
A silent auction during the event featured works of Ely’s local art community. “New this year were T-shirts available for $20, featuring a charming design and sponsored by the Ely Area Food Shelf,” she said.
All proceeds go to the Ely Area Food Shelf, which now serves more than 200 families per month, distributing more than 11,000 pounds of food.
Donations can be sent to Ely Area Food Shelf, P.O. Box 786, Ely, MN 55731. For more information and to volunteer, contact Betty Firth, 365-7578, or Marian Klobuchar, 365-4496.