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Green River and surrounding neighborhoods rally for Auburn Empty Bowls


Green River employees Josh Gerstman, Katie Rose, Vickie Sheehan, Jennifer Irwin, Erik Tingelstad, and George Frasier pose with their bowls.

Auburn Food Bank hosted April 26 its third-annual Empty Bowls fundraiser at Grace Community Church. The popular fundraiser grows exponentially every year. This year, the fundraiser welcomed roughly 500 guests and made $6,500 for the Auburn Food Bank.

"We are starting to make a name for ourselves," said Dana Hinman, who serves on the Auburn Food Bank board of directors. "Because of the community involvement - the artists, restaurants and schools, Empty Bowls has turned into a fun, atypical, people-friendly fundraiser."

At Empty Bowls, guests give a cash donation for a simple meal of soup and bread. Donors then choose their own hand-made bowl to take home, which serves as their reminder of all the people who go hungry in the world.

"Empty Bowls is a grassroots movement and presents the idea that there are people in our community that don't have something in their bowl," said Debbie Christian, executive director of Auburn Food Bank. "It's the notion that everyone here is filling someone else's bowl, even though they are getting the nourishment today."

Judging by the long line at the entrance, the camaraderie in the bowl display area, and the buzz in the cafeteria, all of Auburn and neighboring communities had rallied to support the event.

"Frankly, I didn't know how big this event would be, I was a little overwhelmed when it started," said Sam Mashek, a student volunteer from Mountainview High School. "I like making people happy, and I love looking out into the crowd and seeing how happy everyone is."

Green River pottery students created and donated approximately half the bowls at the event. "This is such a fantastic event," Hinman said. "and Green River has been with us since the beginning."