WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL) — For four decades now, the Wichita Falls Area Food Bank has been a vital resource of food for those members of our community who are food insecure. And, it’s the community support and annual events like Empty Bowls that allows those at the food bank to continue their mission of helping the less fortunate.

The Wichita Falls Museum of Art was packed wall to wall with community members showing up and turning out for the Wichita Falls Area Food Bank in order to help them continue putting food on the tables of families that may not know where their next meal is going to come from.

For some, this may just be a bowl, but for the Wichita Falls Area Food Bank, it’s a heavy reminder of just how many families daily have no food to fill their bowls with.

“These are all handmade bowls by a local artist, again, that they’re going to represent the Empty Bowls in our community and with your purchased of a ticket you get to sample some soups and you also get to take home a commemorative bowl,” Executive Director of the Wichita Falls Area Food Bank Kara Nickens said.

Nickens said seeing the number of folks who showed up for this year’s Empty Bowls speaks volumes about the community.

“Texoma is always so good to us. They want to take care of their neighbors in need. They know that we need their assistance, and without them helping with their monetary donations, and their volunteerism, we couldn’t do it because we need the volunteers to help supplement the things that we do,” Nickens said.

Several local restaurants gathered to serve up their best soups, breads, and desserts. Although it was all smiles today, Nickens said this event serves as a reminder of just how many families go without food every night.

“A lot of people think hunger is somewhere else, it’s right here in Wichita Falls. Prior to the pandemic, there were one in six adults that were food insecure but for children, it’s one in four and that was before the pandemic. So I’m sure that number has risen,” Nickens said.

She said the support doesn’t have to stop after the event is over.

“We always need volunteers to help at the food bank or mobile pantries and then again monetary donations are always needed as well so that we can keep our shelves full to take care of our neighbors in need,” Nickens said.

Even if it’s one empty bowl at a time.

If you would like to make a donation or would like to sign up to volunteer for the Wichita Falls Area Food Bank, click here.