Empty Bowls fills Vail Valley Salvation Army’s food bank | VailDaily.com

Empty Bowls fills Vail Valley Salvation Army’s food bank

Diana Mathias is helping coordinate this year's Empty Bowls luncheon. It's a benefit for the local Salvation Army. This year, the Salvation Army is providing food for around 300 families a month, up from 20-30 last year. Empty Bowls is Aug. 26 at the Eagle-Vail Pavilion.

EDWARDS, Colorado – The Salvation Army helps people all day every day, and now needs some help from you.

Its Empty Bowls luncheon raises money and awareness about some of the problems our neighbors face, and how simple it is to help them.

“Many middle income people who used to donate are now asking us for help,” said Tsu Wolin-Brown with the Salvation Army.

Between 200 and 300 people knock on their door every month, looking for help, said Wolin-Brown. Last year, the Salvation Army helped 20 to 30 people a month. Some of those now asking were donating food and money a year ago.

The Salvation Army gives food to people who need it, and ask for it. Most months that’s 300 families. They’ve spent more than $72,000 on food this year, in addition to all the donations from local people and businesses.

Their Empty Bowls lunch raised $10,000 this year, and they need more of the same this year, said event coordinator Diana Mathias.

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“People have lost jobs, but their kids still have to go to school,” Mathias said.

Empty Bowls costs $20 per person, and it might be the most good $20 can do for body and soul.

In exchange for one portrait of Andrew Jackson from your wallet, you get lunch with the best people you know, food from the best chefs you know, and a bowl to take home after you’ve emptied it.

“Twenty dollars almost buys a box of food,” Wolin-Brown said.

Throw in a little extra and you get to be a judge in the soup competition.

“It’s an amazing community event,” Mathias said.

Soups are being prepared by Spago and the Ritz-Carlton, Ti Amo, Larkspur, Sonnenalp, Mi Zuppa, Alpenrose, Westside Cafe, Golden Eagle, Beaver Creek Mountain Dining, Heidi’s Brooklyn Deli, Avon Bakery, Alpenrose, Columbine Bakery and Zino’s.

You’ll enjoy it in a bowl hand thrown by local artists and artisans, Ann Loper and Kate Wasson, Denver Guild of Potters, Margie Westerman, Lake County Potters, Colleen Everett, Howard Tuthill, Willow Murphy, Dan, Lauren and many more potters from Colorado Mountain College and the artists from the Alpine Art Center in Gypsum.

Staff Writer Randy Wyrick can be reached at 970-748-2935 or rwyrick@vaildaily.com