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Empty Bowls raises money for Forsyth County's hungry

Fundraiser provides $3K to The Place

John Moore, 11, a fifth-grader at Haw Creek. ALDO NAHED/Staff. (click for larger version)

February 10, 2014
CUMMING, Ga. — Students at Haw Creek Elementary School are helping to fill the bellies of Forsyth County's hungry.

Hundreds of parents and their children braved the rain to participate in the Empty Bowls fundraiser at the school cafeteria on Tuesday, Feb. 4.

This is the second year that Haw Creek art teacher April Wylie and the school's PTA organized the event to raise awareness about hunger issues in the county.

Participants were served a simple meal of soup, bread, lemonade and a cookie. The families were reminded that many in the county go hungry, said Lori Hoyt, a PTA member.

"Even after the meal, they'll probably leave here hungry and visit a local restaurant," Hoyt said.

The event was a collaboration of the school with donations from area restaurants and businesses, including Quanto Basta, 'Cue Barbecue, Backyard Burger, Lenny's, Chili's, Subway, Dunkin' Donuts, Los Rios, Wendy's, Chick-fil-A, Publix, Deckers, Kroger, Jet's Pizza and Marie's Italian Deli.

So far, Empty Bowls has raised nearly $3,000 for The Place of Forsyth.

The event also featured the unveiling of student clay artwork, and teachers got to auction off clay bowls for the fundraiser.

The Mockingjay clay bowl by music teacher Jessica Jacobs raised the most at $100.

Later, Jacobs led fifth-graders in a performance for attendees.

The Place has a food pantry that provides bags of staple food to about 300 households to put meals on the table of residents Monday through Saturday. In addition, a surplus bread pantry provides breads, desserts and other items for about 1,350 households.

At noon on Wednesdays, The Place puts the focus on food and about 400 participants are served a prepared meal.

"This brings about an awareness of hunger in our community and that together we can make a difference," said Sandy Beaver, executive director of The Place. "Their support is inspiring because it shows how much the students care about their neighbors in need."

The Place was started in 1975 with the primary objective to ensure no one in the county will go hungry.

"The empty bowl fundraiser is a dramatic way of bringing home to the students and their families that food is the most fundamental of needs of all mankind, and that there is a 'Place' to turn to if they ever need food," Beaver added.

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