On Thursday, Feb. 23, I went to the "Empty Bowls" luncheon at the Red Clay Room in Kennett Square. This annual event raises money for Kennett Area Community Services and always attracts a big crowd of sociable folks from local businesses, churches, healthcare organizations and retirement communities. In fact, everyone was so busy mingling and networking that emcee Matt Grieco had a tough time getting them to simmer down so he could start the formal program.
After Father Chris Rogers of St. Patrick Church gave the invocation, Executive Director Melanie Weiler gave a presentation about the activities of the KACS. The group's Food Cupboard provides nutritious food to families in need, but the organization also connects people to longer-term services that help put them back on their feet and become self-sufficient. The nonprofit is also focusing on why its services are in demand in the first place.
The event is called "Empty Bowls" to raise awareness that hunger exists even in our enormously affluent area. Various community groups (like Scouts, schoolkids, youth organizations) make and donate bowls, and each guest gets to take one home. (I got a festively decorated one that will be the perfect size for my oatmeal.)
The lunch consisted of soup (mushroom, vegetable or chicken noodle) and a small salad, followed by cookies and coffee. I went alone and sat with people I didn't know, but we quickly started chatting about how nice it was to attend a simpler fundraiser that didn't involve dressing up and being asked to write big checks.