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Empty Bowls/Caring Hearts Fundraiser Dinner

THUNDER BAY, ONTARIO  -----  October 4, 2014  ---  The 15th Annual Empty Bowls/Caring Hearts Fundraiser Alan MoonDinner Event will be held on SUNDAY, OCTOBER 19th, 2014 at 6:00pm at the Moose Hall, 434 Fort William Road.  Doors open at 5:00pm
Over the past 14 years this event has raised over $200,000 for the Thunder Bay Food Bank and Shelter House.
For the cost of a $30 ticket, those attending will receive a delicious bowl of soup, rolls, and a homemade dessert, all donated by local restaurants and bakeries, AS WELL AS, a handmade pottery bowl or set of two quilted placemats donated by members of the Thunder Bay Potters’ Guild and group of Community Quilters.

Dinner served:  6:00pm
Dinner tickets:  $30.00
Ticket purchase locations: Fireweed, George’s Market, Nutrition Corner & Country Store (Centennial Square)
Just the meal:  $15.00 (available at the door)
Children 12 & younger:  $5.00 (available at the door)
Silent Auction of Celebrity Bowls and local art
Draws of Raffle Prizes
Entertainment: The Good News Jazz Band

Sunday, October, 19th, 2014 will mark the 15th Annual EmptyEmpty Bowls Bowls/Caring Hearts Dinner Event in Thunder Bay.  The doors to the Moose Hall on Fort William Road open at 5pm and with 350 guests expected, the hall will be flooded with attendees eagerly anticipating a night of sharing, caring, fellowship and hope.  All proceeds from the event go to support the efforts of Shelter House and The Thunder Bay Food Bank.  In Thunder Bay alone the Empty Bowls mission has raised over $200,000 to help feed hungry and impoverished individuals in our community.

The origin of the Empty Bowls event dates back to 1990 when a high school art teacher in Michigan helped his students address a challenge. They were searching for a way to raise funds to support a local food drive. What evolved was the idea of a class project to make ceramic bowls for a fundraiser dinner. Since then, many variations of the original Empty Bowls event have taken flight annually in North America and around the world.  To date millions of dollars have been raised toward the common goal of combating hunger.

The first Empty Bowls dinner event in Thunder Bay was held in 2000, which was spearheaded with the combined efforts of well known Thunder Bay potters, Alan Moon and Fritz Lehmberg together with Lakehead Unitarian Fellowship member, Pyteke Blaauw. This successful annual dinner event has grown over the years and has evolved to include information displays by partner organizations, a silent celebrity bowls auction, various raffles, and live entertainment provided by the Good News Jazz Band.  It is the combined spirit and commitment of caring community volunteers that make this inspirational event possible and the success it is today.

The dinner menu is homemade fare, prepared and donated by local chefs, restaurants and bakeries.  It is a simple meal of soup, bread, and dessert, a symbolic gesture of a “poverty meal” representing the focus and inspiration for the event. It is hoped that the evening will raise awareness and cultivate an attitude that will extinguish poverty and hunger.

Food scarcity means not just a scarcity of sustenance and nourishment, but a scarcity of the life affirming joys that good food provides. The dinner and meal is a reminder to guests to never take food for granted, but to celebrate and share the gifts we have with one another.

With the purchase of a $30.00 dinner ticket and a donation of a canned food item, attendees are able to select a pottery bowl, handcrafted by local potters of the Thunder Bay Potters’ Guild, or a pair of placemats handmade by local community quilters.  With a keepsake from the night’s event in tow, it will serve as a lasting reminder about the poverty and hunger individuals face daily, inspiring guests to direct their efforts to help fill the empty bowls in our community and around the world.


In Thunder Bay, the Empty Bowls/Caring Hearts Annual Dinner event is deliberately held on the third Sunday of October to pay homage to World Food Day (WFD).  In 1945 the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations was founded. At the 20th General Conference held In November 1979, the Food and Agriculture Organization declared October 16th as World Food Day. The first World Food Day was honoured and celebrated in 1981 and since is observed annually in more than 150 countries.  The aim of this important Day is to heighten public awareness regarding world food concerns and to strengthen solidarity in the struggle against hunger. Hunger is a social justice and social responsibility issue.


Empty Bowls/Caring Hearts supports the efforts of organizations in Thunder Bay who work diligently in response to issues surrounding poverty and hunger in our community. Our group of dedicated and creative volunteers work selflessly each year to raise valuable dollars for existing food programs which directly support individuals and families in need of a hand up.  Our efforts are also geared to foster a conscious culture and heighten public awareness regarding food scarcity, hunger, and poverty in our own backyard.  Currently, all annual proceeds raised through Empty Bowls/Caring Hearts in Thunder Bay are donated to the Thunder Bay Food Bank and Shelter House.

Thunder Bay Food Bank:

The Thunder Bay Food Bank is a 100% volunteer run, not-for-profit, registered charitable organization that provides basic food items to more than 900 people each month, including adults, youth, children, and seniors.

The Thunder Bay Food Bank is able to help those in need through the generosity of the United Way and through donations from the corporate sector, community groups, churches and individuals. Dedicated volunteers work and collaborate continuously with our community partners to help feed the hungry in Thunder Bay.
The Thunder Bay Food Bank is located at 129 Miles Street, East and is open on Tuesday and Friday mornings from 9:00am – 11:00am for food distribution.  They are closed the first week of each month.

Shelter House:

Located at 420 George Street, Shelter House provides short-term relief to those in need of shelter, food, and other basic needs. In addition to the essential services, Shelter House provides support through referral and advocacy to community resources and service providers in order for individuals to move forward toward housing and independence.
The meal service is run entirely on donated food, prepared and served by unpaid community groups and volunteers and serves an average of 700 meals per day.  This includes lunch and supper as well as sandwiches and bagged lunches. They also distribute surplus groceries and prepare emergency food hampers.  
Shelter House must raise over $500,000 annually in order to continue to provide the essential services of food, shelter, and supportive housing. They rely on volunteers and the generosity of our community to keep their doors open and to ensure that their facility remains safe, clean, and accessible to those in need.

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