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April 14, 2014

Empty Bowls soup luncheon to benefit food insecurity problem in community

— The fourth Empty Bowls Project soup luncheon and silent auction is set for April 30, with proceeds benefiting Limestone County Churches Involved.

The project is a grassroots effort to raise hunger awareness and food aid, while LCCI is a food pantry and emergency assistance nonprofit comprised of nearly 40 local churches. It assists about 70 families per week, according to LCCI board President Tere Richardson.

This year’s fundraiser will begin at 11 a.m. at Friendship United Methodist Church at 16479 Easter Ferry Road in Athens. Lunch will be served from noon to 1 p.m.

Tickets, which are available at FUMC, Pimento’s and Railroad Bazaar, are $10. Admission includes a lunch of bread, soup and water and a complimentary bowl as a souvenir to remind patrons about food insecurity in the community.

The silent auction will feature pottery, photography, carvings, paintings, mixed media and serving dishes made by area artists, including Gail Bergeron, Diane Lehr, Lisa Milby, Karen Middleton and Anna Braden.

Ceramic pieces crafted by Athens Middle School art students also will be available.

This year’s fundraising goal is $4,000, according to project officials. Last fall’s event brought in more than $2,600 for the Athens-Limestone Family Resource Center, with proceeds rotating among nonprofits that serve the local community.

Participating restaurants are Samurai’s, 306 Barbecue, Applebee’s, Logan’s, Picasso’s Grille, Village Pizza, Atlanta Bread Company, Domino’s, Papa John’s, Clark’s, Quizno’s, Panera Bread, LuVici’s, Chick-fil-A and Wildwood Deli.

The ticket price represents the purchase of nearly four meals through food banks, according to Friendship Church spokeswoman Nikki Colwell.

Feeding America, a nonprofit that combats hunger, defines a food-insecure household as one where the members are unable to consistently access the adequate amount of nutritious food necessary for a healthy life.

The food insecurity rate in Limestone is 13.4 percent, or 10,810 residents. The rate is even higher for the county’s children at 22.2 percent, with 4,310 at-risk for hunger.

For more information, visit the Empty Bowls Project’s Facebook page or the Friendship Church website at http://friendshipumc.org. Tickets can be reserved through the church by calling 256-233-4906.

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