AMHERST — The Amherst Survival Center will host its 15th annual Empty Bowls fundraiser on Saturday, April 1 from noon to 4 p.m. at the center’s site at 138 Sunderland Road, North Amherst. Empty Bowls brings the community together to fight hunger and raise funds for the center’s programs, ensuring that area residents have access to the food they need.
This year, Empty Bowls will again offer in-person dining at the center, with service from local celebrities, including state legislators, town leaders, and special guests. There will also be options for attendees to take their soup to-go. Guests select a unique, handcrafted bowl made by a local artist and choose between a dozen soups donated by local restaurants and freshly baked bread. Meat, vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free soup options will be available. The keepsake bowl is theirs to keep as a reminder of all the other bowls they have helped to fill. Soft drinks are included, and wine and hard cider are available for purchase (cash only).
“This annual event funds the critical food and nutrition programs that provided more than 1.2 million meals to 7,500 of our neighbors last year. Right now, with costs at the grocery store so high and the end of pandemic SNAP benefits, we are seeing unprecedented need: 25% higher than the peak surges of the pandemic and rising. We are also seeing record numbers of families coming to the center for the very first time,” said Lev Ben-Ezra, executive director of the Amherst Survival Center. “I am grateful to be a part of a community where we support each other, and where we know that everyone should have the food they need. Empty Bowls is a beautiful opportunity to put that value into action.”
Tickets cost $50 and are available online at www.amherstsurvival.org/emptybowls or by calling the Amherst Survival Center at (413) 549-3968, ext. 108. Guests who don’t want a handmade bowl may also choose soup-only tickets for adults ($30) or for children ($10). Children 2 and under are free. Tickets can also be purchased in person on the day of at the event.
The event will also include a raffle with prizes including a handblown glass platter from Josh Simpson, a photoshoot with professional photographer Isabella Dellolio, a private wine tasting from Provisions, and more. Raffle tickets cost $10 each or three for $25. Empty Bowls keepsake aprons will also be available for purchase, and all donations on top of ticket purchases will be matched by presenting sponsor Greenfield Savings Bank up to $5,000. Raffle ticket or apron purchases and additional donations can be made online while purchasing tickets, or in person at the event.
“Empty Bowls is an inspiring event that brings our community together to help end food insecurity in our community. Greenfield Savings Bank is proud to sponsor and support the Amherst Survival Center in their mission to help people in our community,” said Thomas Meshako, president and CEO of Greenfield Savings Bank.
With the involvement and support of Greenfield Savings Bank, full bowls sponsors Mass General Brigham Cooley Dickinson Hospital and PeoplesBank, as well many other business sponsors, local restaurants, and volunteers, the proceeds from Empty Bowls directly benefit the Amherst Survival Center’s programs and services. A full list of sponsors, soup makers, and potters is available at www.amherstsurvival.org/emptybowls.