‘Empty Bowls’ draws big crowd after two year hiatus

Fundraiser raises money for Salvation Army's feeding program

TUPELO, MISS. (WCBI) – A popular fundraiser for the Tupelo Salvation Army is back in person and is more popular than ever.

Donna Wise and a group of ladies from Okolona Baptist Church spent their lunch hour at the Empty Bowls Fundraiser.

“I love the fellowship, coming to see what’s available, donating to a worthy cause, I’ve known several people who have benefited from Salvation Army from help they have given to others,” Wise said.

Forty-five restaurants and a few nonprofits cooked up pots of soup for the event.  A $15 ticket allowed guests to sample the selections.

“I have tried, trying Harvey’s Chicken Noodle Soup and this is Cantina, tortilla soup,” said Samantha Webster.

Do you have a favorite?

“Harvey’s,” Webster said.

“I’ve got lobster chowder now, Brunswick stew, chili, I have not eaten all that, I’m just telling you what’s out there,” said Colleen Roberts.

That $15 ticket also helps fund the Salvation Army’s feeding program.

“A hundred percent of those funds go to take care of the forty thousand meals we will serve this year and we’ve said it before, it’s a big deal because a good meal makes all the difference,” said Capt. Rob Dolby, of the Tupelo Salvation Army.

For restaurants, Empty Bowls is an opportunity to get their name out to the public and support the community.

“It’s important, I think all restaurants, it’s one way we can kind of all bond together, cause we’re all in the same business, so it’s a great event,” said Leslie Nabors, of Buffalo Wild Wings.

“It’s great to give back to the community who supports us, we’re happy to do it, happy to be here,” said Chris Parker, of Bulldog Burger.

“Reaching out to the community is always a big thing that encourages people to stay connected, the more connected you are, you see opportunities with such places as the Salvation Army,  they need the help, we can do that,” said Jeff Savarin, of Brick and Spoon.

Empty Bowls 2022 may be in the books, but its impact will be felt by needy people all throughout the year.

Handmade pottery bowls were also sold during the luncheon.

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