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February 22, 2024

Empty Bowls

Fundraiser to take place Oct. 15

By Angela Rogalski

The Bolivar Bullet

Extra Table’s Empty Bowls event is an international grassroots effort to fight hunger. The 3rd Annual Empty Bowls fundraiser will be held at Delta Arts Alliance, 104 S. Court Street in Cleveland on Friday, October 15, from 10:30 a.m. until 1:00 p.m. Indoor dining and to-go dining will be available.

Clarksdale native, Martha Allen is executive director of Extra Table, which is the partnership launched in 2009 by well-known restaurateur Robert St. John that strives to make a difference in the lives of Mississippians by fundraising to stock food pantries and soup kitchens across the state with wholesome nutritious food. Today, Extra Table provides healthy, shelf stable food to over 50 food pantries and soup kitchens while serving an extended area, 69 of the 82 counties in Mississippi.

Allen said they are excited to be back in Cleveland to host the 3rd Annual Empty Bowls Fundraiser. 

“We are glad to be back in Cleveland and have the support of the Delta Arts Alliance, Junior Auxiliary and our amazing sponsors,” she added. “Empty Bowls 2020 was a grand success even with the complications and safety precautions amidst COVID due to our great patrons that share in our belief that no one should go hungry…food is a basic human right.”

Allen said the public is invited to attend the event and she hopes everyone will come out and support the fundraiser.

“We encourage everyone to come out that day and have lunch with us,” Allen added. “Our bowls are empty so others can be fed. You’ll come select a beautiful handmade empty bowl made by local artists and students at Delta State and select soups from local Cleveland restaurants. You can sit down and enjoy a meal with friends or you can take it to go. Every dollar made for this event will go toward buying food to support our Delta area food pantries.”

Visit extratable.org to purchase tickets and for more information. Or, call 601-447-4667. All of the proceeds from the event go toward purchasing healthy, shelf-stable food for Delta food pantries and soup kitchens. 

Extra Table supports the Statesman’s Shelf on the campus of Delta State University, an entity that Extra Table helped to open in 2019, and Caring Hands, Itta Bena, Clarksdale Care Station, Clarksdale, Hearty Helpings Food Pantry, Greenville, Helping Hands, Belzoni, Helping Hands, Cleveland, Robert Neil Food Pantry, Charleston, St. Vincent De Paul, Greenville, and Tutwiler Community Education Center, Tutwiler. A new addition to our Delta pantries is Lexington Food Pantry in Lexington. 

“Our Extra Table’s partners are reporting a 30% – 50% increase in requests for food so support is critical, now more than ever,” said Robert St. John, founder of Extra Table. “Empty Bowls is a fun event. Drop by on your lunch break, celebrate the talented artists, and share a meal with a friend in order to provide a meal to a neighbor in need.”