Eat good, do good in Eagle County |

Eat good, do good in Eagle County

Randy Wyrickrwyrick@vaildaily.comVail, CO Colorado
These artists and artisans are making bowls for Thursday's Empty Bowls luncheon, an annual fundraiser for the local Salvaiton Army. For $20 you get soup, bread, dessert, and an Empty Bowls handmade bowl to take home as a symbol of hunger in our community in the community and the world. It runs from noon-1:30 Thursday at Battle Mountain High School.

EDWARDS, Colorado – The Salvation Army has your lunch ready.The Salvation Army’s annual Empty Bowls fundraiser/lunch is Thursday, and it’s one of the region’s most affordable fundraisers.”Everyone can afford $20 to go to a charity function,” said Tsu Wolin-Brown, director of the local Salvation Army.For that you get soup, bread and dessert from some of the area’s best restaurants.”Plus you get an empty bowl to take home to remind you that there’s hunger in the world and in the valley,” Wolin-Brown said.Committee members Diana Mathias, Terry Smith and Anne Breckheimer put it together. This is their fourth year.Mathias attended a similar event at a resort in New Mexico and decided we should do one here.”What better way to fill a food pantry than with a food event?” Mathias asked.It’s styled after a soup kitchen, but those soups are created in some of the area’s best restaurants.”The people who come really do love it,” Wolin-Brown said.Get there early because people tend to be a competitive about who gets which bowl created by their favorite artist, Wolin-Brown said.Ann Loper turns them out like a bowl-making machine. Kate Wasson, Margie Westerman, Colleen Everett, Willow Murphy, the Denver Guild of Potters, potters from Colorado Mountain College, and Debbie and Lauren with the Alpine Art Center donate bowls by the dozen.”Some of them are real works of art,” Mathias said.

It’s fun, but the purpose is serious.It’s a benefit for the Salvation Army’s food pantries, which are under strain like never before.”It gets depleted regularly,” Wolin-Brown said.Through June the average was 500 families and households per month, which is way up. Food assistance requests are up from 1,245 in 2008 to 5,145 last year. The first half of this year has seen even more increases, Wolin-Brown said.”We’ve had fewer lately, and that’s encouraging. We’re hoping that people are getting work, but our fear is that they can’t find any and are leaving the area,” Wolin-Brown said.One-fourth of the Salvation Army’s budget is spent on food assistance.”We spend $100,000 a year on food, including the Thanksgiving and Christmas food baskets. Our total budget is $400,000,” Wolin-Brown said.They also help subsidize the food pantry in Eagle at the United Methodist Church.They economize in every way they can, Wolin-Brown said, but each box of food the Salvation Army provides still costs between $25-$30.Since everything for the Empty Bowls event is donated, a ticket will almost cover the cost of a box of food for a family. Families get things like fruits and vegetables, non-perishable canned food like soup and tuna, pasta, cereal and other items.The Sew What 4-H sewing club is creating aprons for volunteers.Food is being provided by the Broken Arrow Caf, Ti Amo, Golden Eagle Inn, Sonnenalp Resort Vail, Splendido, Grouse Mountain Grill, Alpenrose, Columbine Bakery, Heidi’s Deli and Bakery, Avon Bakery, Westside Caf, Vail Resorts, Slifer Smith & Frampton, Four Seasons and Larkspur.Chaines des Rotisseurs is making the desserts.”It’s a great opportunity for an office to close down and take a lunch break together,” Wolin-Brown said.Staff Writer Randy Wyrick can be reached at 970-748-2935 or

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