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Beacon Senior News

Filling bowls for hungry souls

Oct 04, 2017 01:31PM ● By Polly Kennedy

Grand Valley Catholic Outreach’s (GVCO) Empty Bowls fundraiser was introduced to the organization by the late Ginger Rice, who recognized it as the perfect way to achieve part of GVCO’s vision—to feed hungry people in the community. More than two decades later, her vision still holds true.

On October 14, Empty Bowls returns to GVCO’s soup kitchen, 245 S. First St. in Grand Junction, to serve a message to the community.

Comfort food

Each year, local potters donate hundreds of handcrafted soup bowls to GVCO. During the fundraiser, patrons pick out a bowl and fill it with their choice of gourmet soups and delicious desserts donated by area restaurants.

Then they take their bowls home to place on a shelf, a reminder that there are people who are hungry in our valley.

“We have an amazing committee of about 20 called Friends of the Outreach,” said Beverly Lampley, GVCO’s director of development and communications. “These folks have it down pat and we sell about 1,000 tickets.”

According to Lampley, Empty Bowls is a community event.

“We have more than 50 potters who participate, 50-plus restaurants donate soup, bakers donate baked goods, growers from Palisade donate cider and we get a plethora of desserts,” she said.

The cost of tickets has not risen in the 22 years that GVCO has hosted the event—$25 covers soups, bread, dessert and a handmade bowl. Proceeds support the organization’s programs for the less fortunate.

A long legacy of giving

GVCO began in 1988 as a collaborative effort between the valley’s four Catholic parishes. It offers a number of programs that support people in the community, regardless of religious denomination. Among these is Almost Home, designed to simplify the process for looking for affordable housing. Roommate Exchange assists people seeking shared housing. The Book in Hand program provides children with a new book, and a volunteer who reads to them while their parents seek GVCO services.

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