10th annual Empty Bowls event

Businesses spoke about the importance of partnership, buying local, and giving back to the community.
Empty Bowls event in Hattiesburg to help fill food pantry.
Empty Bowls event in Hattiesburg to help fill food pantry.
Published: Oct. 23, 2022 at 12:19 AM CDT
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HATTIESBURG, Miss. (WDAM) - As the holiday season approaches, families may be finding it hard to make ends meet.

So, Pine Belt leaders are stepping up and helping those in need.

Inflation continues to be a major issue for people throughout the nation, and here in the Pine Belt, community members wanted to make a difference.

Edwards Street Fellowship held its 10th annual Empty Bowls event at Main Street Books in Hattiesburg.

“We had potters from the area come in one day for a throw-a-thon,” said Diane Shepherd, owner of Main Street Books, “and they just threw one bowl after another and that (netted) us with about 150 bowls.”

Those 150 bowls were added to some 200 more created by Shepherd herself.

It’s been a group effort over the years, a belief the Edwards Street executive director Ann McCullen said she agrees with.

“The whole premise of Empty Bowls is to remind us that there are empty bowls all throughout our community that we can help fill,” McCullen said. “It’s a simple meal, but its delicious, and it’s from all of our favorite restaurants from all over town.

“It really goes to a good cause.”

With more than 25 sponsors, the charity organization served soup, bread, and beverages from a variety of local restaurants.

Iva Brown is a former Edwards Street volunteer who has collaborated on the project since 1979.

“Particularly, a helping hand is needed now with the increase in food processing, gasoline and many families do not have enough in their budget to sustain themselves and our operation is more in need today than when we started,” Brown said

What started as an outreach program for children now serves an entire community with its food pantry, medical services, prescription drug program, thrift store and ministries.

Profits from the event will go toward the Edwards Street Fellowship food pantry.

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