The Herald, Sharon, Pa.

April 13, 2014

Empty Bowls fundraiser adds focus to scope of area hunger


The Herald

- — A large photo on the front page of The Herald Tuesday showed a long table covered with empty bowls that were to be used during a fundraiser for the Community Food Warehouse of Mercer County.

While it made for a colorful display, there is certainly nothing bright about the empty bowls that families throughout our area see many days of the week because they have nothing to put into them.

And that’s why fundraisers like the fourth annual Empty Bowls event, which was conducted Wednesday night at the James E. Winner Jr. Arts and Culture Center in downtown Sharon, are so important.

We can’t emphasize enough the needs of the Community Food Warehouse where employees and volunteers work tirelessly to provide food for area people who are struggling financially.

Is there anything worse than telling your children that they have to go to bed hungry because there is nothing in the house to feed them? But it happens right here in our county.

And most people have no idea of the overall scope of the problem. With the overall dip in the economy in this area as more people lost jobs and had to go on unemployment or welfare, it has worsened.

According to Food Warehouse personnel, there are 15,750 people in Mercer County who need food assistance.

That is a lot of empty bowls.

And the battle to help these people isn’t over because of one fundraising effort. Help is needed year-round. And that’s one reason The Herald helps each Christmas holiday season with its Good News Fund to buy turkeys for many area families who are hurting financially.

Still much more help is needed. This past year, about 1.5 million pounds of food was distributed by the Food Warehouse along with 23,928 pounds of fresh produce grown in community gardens. While that seems like a lot, there is never enough.

So even though the Empty Bowls drive is gone, let’s not forget the needs of people throughout the entire year.

Any financial help to the Community Food Warehouse or even donations of canned or nonperishable foods are appreciated throughout the year at various drives that can help the hungry in our area.