Empty Bowls Event Helps Fill Stomachs of Hungry Texomans

- Food is something many of take for granted. However, there are thousands of Texoma families who have trouble putting enough food on the table day after day.

The Empty Bowls event warmed both the bellies and the hearts of those at the Wichita Falls Museum of Art, which will in turn bring more food for hungry Texomans.

Bowls of soup on a cool fall day hit the spot for hundreds of Texomans who packed the Wichita Falls Museum of Art at MSU. This second annual Empty Bowls event will help thousands of Texomans in need.

"There are 37,000 people in our 12 county service area that suffer from food insecurity.  There are about 13,000 children that suffer from food insecurity," says Mark McKethan, executive director at the Wichita Falls Area Food Bank.

And this event allowed those who attended to take home a handmade pottery bowl as more than just a keepsake.

"They're beautiful.  Of course you can use them for lots of different things but I think when you see the empty bowl it reminds you of people that are sitting at home and don't have anything to eat and their bowls are empty," says Leslie Myers, who attended the event.

And soon, food bank officials say even more families could be dealing with empty bowls. On November 1st, benefits for all Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP, recipients will be cut.

"It's an extension of a program that was approved in 2010 and it expires this month," McKethan explains.

And food bank officials say this event will assist the agency in making up the difference for those families. Souvenir bowls were made by students from MSU, Wichita Falls ISD, as well as artists from around the nation.

Last year, this event raised more than $64,000 for the Wichita Falls Area Food Bank. And while coordinators are still crunching numbers, they expect this year's larger attendance to bring in even more money.

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