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Food bank fundraiser combats hunger

by: SPOTLIGHT FILE PHOTO - Spotlight File PhotoTickets for the Columbia Pacific Food Bank’s annual fundraising event, Empty Bowls, are on sale now.

The event will be held from 5 to 7 p.m. March 15 at the McBride Elementary School, 2774 Columbia Blvd., St. Helens. Tickets cost $10.

“We’ve always run out of bowls,” said Food Bank volunteer and event organizer Donna Nyberg. She said they provide 300 bowls each year.

At the event, participants will each receive a ceramic bowl crafted by local high school students or other artists and potters, and will enjoy a simple meal of soup and bread provided by area restaurants.

All proceeds go to the Food Bank and even if there are no more ceramic bowls left, anyone who still wants to participate can eat soup from paper bowls, Nyberg said.

“It’s a pretty big event for the community,” she added. “It’s cheap enough that anybody can go.”

Tickets can be purchased Dianna’s Formal Affair, 52131 Columbia River Highway, in Scappoose; at Word for Word Bookstore, 293 S. 1st St., St. Helens; at the Columbia Pacific Food Bank, 474 Milton Way, St. Helens; or at the Commission on Children and Families office, 230 Strand St., Room 301, in St. Helens.

The Empty Bowls event first began in St. Helens seven years ago, but the fundraiser takes its inspiration from a high school art teacher in Michigan who, in 1990, worked with his students to raise funds to support a food drive by making ceramic bowls and serving guests a meal of soup and bread. Since then, Empty Bowls events have been held throughout the world, raising millions of dollars to combat hunger.