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The FUNdraiser Feature: Empty Bowls Luncheon

The bowl is a visual symbol of the empty bowls in the community, a reminder of the hunger those less fortunate face on a daily basis. Each month more than 5,000 people receive food from the River City Food Bank, which is seeing a surge in elderly clients, according to its executive director. 


“Seniors have to choose between medications and simple everyday costs of utilities and rent, and food is that one area you can kind of squeeze,” RCFB Executive Director Eileen Thomas said. “If you can use some of your food budget to make sure your rent gets paid then you would do that.”


To help fill those empty bowls, the food bank is holding its annual fundraising event, Empty Bowls Luncheon, in early March. Local restaurants, businesses and artists come together to donate their time, talents and resources to benefit the River City Food Bank.


Due to its growing popularity over the years, there will be a lunch and dinner, to accommodate the demand. 


River City Food Bank is different than the average food bank in that people are not handed a pre-packed bag of food. After a brief interview people get their choice of food staples. For example, they can choose between canned peaches or canned pears, black beans or pinto beans and so on. Then they get to select fresh produce and perishables like milk and butter.  


Proceeds from the Empty Bowls Luncheon will go toward operating costs and funding the food bank. The events will be held at the Sacramento Convention Center, and everyone who attends gets to choose and keep a bowl that’s been crafted by a local student or artist. 


On Monday, March 4 Classique Catering will provide appetizers, soup, bread, wine and dessert from 5:30 m to 7:30 pm. Tickets are $60.00 and can be purchased at https://rcfb.webconnex.com/emptybowls


The luncheon will take place Tuesday, March 5. Lunch will be served from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., and again at 12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. Food will include soups, bread and cookies donated by some of Sacramento’s finest restaurants. Tickets are $30 and can be purchased at https://rcfb.webconnex.com/emptybowls.


220,000 people in Sacramento County go hungry and struggle to put food on the table, people with families, the working poor and the elderly, their fastest growing clients, according to the agency. 


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