Empty Bowls virtual event to fight food insecurity in Wichita Falls underway

Local News

WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL) — An event in Wichita Falls that addresses food insecurity in our area is taking a virtual form this year, but organizers hope it will have the same impact as in years past.

The Empty Bowls event is in its tenth year, but, due to COVID-19, folks at the Wichita Falls Area Food Bank (WFAFB) said residents can purchase their tickets to participate in an online auction.

It’s all part of a national grassroots effort that aims to help folks get a glimpse at what it’s truly like for so many who are hungry.

“I want to make sure that there are people here in this community that actually have food in their bowl,” Midwestern State University Ceramics Professor Steve Hilton said.

For much of the 10 years, the Wichita Falls Area Food Bank has hosted the annual Empty Bowls, Hilton and his ceramics students have always had a hand in the event.

“We started doing this about eight or nine years ago, and we started doing this as a department because of food insecurity here in our area,” Hilton said.

The money raised feeds hundreds of people in the 12-county area the food bank serves, and, though organizers chose not to have an in-person event, Simon Welch with the food bank said mouths will still be fed.

“It’s gonna be an online shop, so you’re gonna go to this website, you pay $35 and get your bowl, and then you’ll get a coupon book for all the participating restaurants,” Welch, marketing director for WFAFB, said.

Welch said there will be about 12 participating restaurants, both chain and local establishments.

As for the bowls, Hilton and his students have already been hard at work.

“My students and I, we make typically on an empty bowls event, we make about a thousand bowls,” Hilton said. “This year we already have some in the bank from last year, so we’re not making that many, but we’ll end up making probably 300 to 350 bowls.”

Hilton said taking part in this event is very important, and he is committed to taking part in this event for years to come.

Looking at state data, one in four children and one in six adults in Texoma go hungry each night.

The food insecurity rate overall for this region sits at more than 16%.

If you’d like to help put food on the table for the hungry in our community, you can find information about the event on the Empty Bowls website.

Empty Bowls will be taking donations until December 9.

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