From Soup to Meals St. Lucie County Empty Bowls raises enough for 120,000 meals

A little clay and a lot of heart turned about 500 ceramic bowls into more than $15,000, the equivalent of 120,000 meals at this year’s Empty Bowls event for those struggling with hunger.

The annual event featured ceramic bowls hand-crafted by students from public and private schools in St. Lucie County as well as a silent auction of 20 bowls autographed by celebrity entertainers and athletes. New York Mets Star Pitcher Noah Syndergaard’s autographed bowl brought in the highest bid at $250.

This was the 12th year for the annual event held at the Downtown Fort Pierce Farmers Market. Along with the keepsake ceramic bowls, the event features a meal of soup and bread, symbolic of the meager meals often eaten by those struggling with hunger.

The Fort Pierce Central High School Culinary Arts students prepared a chicken noodle soup for the event, and Treasure Coast Food Bank’s own Healthy Harvest Catering prepared a vegetable noodle soup.

Long-time supporters were at the Farmers Market early to select their favorite bowl from among the numerous designs created by St. Lucie County students. Each bowl came in its own Empty Bowls tote. For a $20 donation, patrons selected a bowl of soup and the keepsake ceramic bowl of their choice.

“We’re so thankful for the supporters, sponsors, students, and others who help make Empty Bowls so successful,” said Judith Cruz, President and CEO of Treasure Coast Food Bank. “Empty Bowls brings the community together to share in solving hunger for those who are struggling. We especially want to thank Anne Satterlee of the Sunrise Theatre and Kasey Blair of the St. Lucie Mets who helped us collect autographs, and Heather Blackmon-Gordon, our Empty Bowls Chair.”

Treasure Coast Food Bank also is grateful to Empty Bowls sponsors Fort Pierce Utility Authority, Healthy Harvest Catering, and the Winne Family Charitable Foundation.