Good Cheer fills empty bowls, stomachs at Empty Soup Bowl Night

Bowl by bowl, loaf by loaf, Good Cheer worked to make sure nobody on the South End went to sleep hungry on Sunday.

Volunteer Kimberly Shelton (left) hands a young girl a bowl of warm soup at the Good Cheer Empty Bowl Soup Night on Sunday evening.

Bowl by bowl, loaf by loaf, Good Cheer worked to make sure nobody on the South End went to sleep hungry on Sunday.

The food bank’s fifth annual Empty Bowl Soup Night completely filled Fellowship Hall in Langley United Methodist Church with a large host of community members either looking to donate funds to Good Cheer or grab a free bite to eat. The event was a blend of a fundraiser and community meal, where diners had the choice to donate to Good Cheer by paying for the volunteer-made soup bowls or simply feed themselves for the day.

Tables were fully stocked and some even had to stand while eating, but there were few complaints; most seem to wear warm grins on their faces. Organizers said attendance was a record high.

“It’s fun to serve food and it’s fine with me if I don’t know who I’m helping out,” volunteer Larry Johnson from Freeland said. “If I don’t do my part to help out the community, how can I tell my kids to do the same?”

The bowls were made by volunteers who crafted them at Whidbey Art Escape in Freeland. Owner Tina Beard donated the materials and equipment without cost, and invited community members to make pottery for the Empty Soup Bowl Night during the summer. As soon as diners arrived at the fundraiser on Sunday, they had the option to purchase a bowl for $20 or a mug for $5. Those who came in to eat a free meal, some homeless or living on low incomes, didn’t have to pay to eat.

“It was pretty exciting to see there was only standing room for a while,” Beard said. “We usually make about 100 bowls, but this year we did a little over 150. There were only about 10 bowls left by the end, and some people donated the bowls back because they just wanted to help fundraise.”

Numerous sources pitched in to supply the soup for the evening. Eleven different soups ranging from hearty to vegan were on deck, with five of those options donated by The Braeburn, Prima Bistro, Useless Bay Coffee Company, Neil’s Clover Patch and Gordon’s on Blueberry Hill. The rest were made by volunteers in Good Cheer’s commercial kitchen.

The funds raised at the event will go toward the Good Cheer Food Bank’s general operation costs for the winter. But for Good Cheer’s Community Outreach Coordinator Shawn Nowlin, the soup feed is more about reminding people of South Whidbey’s strong sense of community.

“In the bigger scope of things it’s a nice fundraiser, but it’s more of a gratitude fundraiser,” Nowlin said. “It’s more about reminding people how much they support their neighbors when the winter sets in and that it gets more difficult for our clients.”

 

More in News

Vanderwerfhorst
Level 3 sex offender moves to Langley

The Island County Sheriff’s Office is holding a meeting Monday to talk… Continue reading

Lines from crab pots snarl ferries

Ferries and crab pots don’t mix, state officials warn. The ferries on… Continue reading

Mysterious bag found | Island Scanner

The following items were selected from reports made to the Island County… Continue reading

Uninhabited house destroyed in blaze

Officials from Central Whidbey Island Fire and Rescue say they are unable… Continue reading

Freeland shopping center proposes to build sewage treatment facility

Owners of Freeland Plaza Shopping Center have submitted an application to replace… Continue reading

Dog rescued from bluff

Firefighters from South Whidbey Fire/EMS and Central Whidbey Island Fire and Rescue… Continue reading

Photo by Emily Gilbert/South Whidbey Record.
                                Samantha Ollis, of Langley, with her cows Duke, left, and Daisy, which she’s raised.
Menagerie at the fair

Kids in 4-H and their animals greeted visitors of the Whidbey Island… Continue reading

EMS seeking levy renewal

Extending EMS levy ‘vital to our hospital system’

Clinton ADA beach dedication set for July 21

Blue mats bring beach time for all abilities

Most Read