Empty Bowls Festival serves up community spirit online

Story by Stacie Gaetz


Photos by Courtesy of Airdrie Food Bank

Airdrie Food Bank’s Empty Bowls Festival looks a bit different again this year but that doesn’t mean you can’t get a beautiful piece of artwork while giving back to a good cause.

The event has taken place in Airdrie for 15 years and usually includes a community gathering that serves soup to residents and involves kids’ activities, live music and auctioning off a number of bowls painted by local artists, residents, business owners, dignitaries and others.

This year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, organizers worked with local artists and dignitaries to create large bowls that will be auctioned online until Sept. 26

Christine Taylor, events communication and marketing manager for the food bank, says the event isn’t just a fundraiser for the cause, it is also a way to show the organization’s appreciation for the donations it receives from local residents all year round.

“Although we aren’t able to host our usual empty bowls event again this year, we want the community to know that we appreciate the dedication to our community and the support we receive,” she says.

The 2020 online event raised more than $2,500 for the Fuel 4 Kids program, which helps ensure that no child goes hungry in local school. This year, proceeds from the Empty Bowls online auction will go towards the same program.

According to the Airdrie Food Bank website, 44 per cent of the food bank’s clients are children.

Fuel 4 Kids lunch program started in 2016 with two area schools and expanded to three in 2017. The schools identify the number of lunches needed each week, lunch food is purchased; then volunteers make the lunches and deliver them to the schools.

It costs $5,000 per year for each school lunch program.

This year’s bowls have been painted by Mayor Peter Brown, Councillor Tina Petrow and local artists including Veronica Funk, Cindy Zampa and Elizabeth Hall.

The Empty Bowls auction is live until Sept 26 at this link.