Empty Bowls Dinner raises more than $30,000

BRATTLEBORO — As a member of the Groundworks Collaborative board of directors, I thank all of the local businesses, sponsors, and volunteers who made this year's Empty Bowls Dinner such a success.

More than 600 people attended the Oct. 7 dinner to raise funds for Groundworks' Food Shelf. Through the support of our sponsors, potters, local restaurants, diners, and those who purchased bowls, we raised over $30,000, one of our largest fundraisers this year.

The amount raised has the potential of assisting more than 1,000 food-insecure households in our area. This event is an amazing community effort.

Groundworks Collaborative provides food, shelter, and ongoing support to our neighbors struggling to meet their basic human needs. We operate our region's busiest food shelf and the only year-round homeless shelter in our area. Groundworks also operates our community's seasonal emergency shelter. This year, it opened Nov. 13 for the winter season at its new location, the Winston Prouty Campus.

We offer our sincere thanks to this year's sponsors. Our host sponsors Landmark College and Chartwells have been there for us for many years by providing their space and key resources, which have made the event an annual success. The donation of soup, bread, apples, crackers, yogurt, and ice cream are a critical part of this event. Many restaurants, cafés, and food service providers donated gallons upon gallons of soup to feed hundreds of participants and volunteers.

A big thanks to our many volunteers who planned the event for months, sold tickets, hung posters, washed bowls, transported food and materials, prepared food, organized and arranged bowls, and cleaned up the Landmark dining hall.

Special thanks go out to Jess Rodrigues and Kelly O'Ryan, who recruited and supported the majority of this year's volunteers. Likewise, our sincere thanks extend to Alan Steinberg for more than 14 years of service to the dinner.

Thanks to all. I look forward to next year's dinner.

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