Empty Bowls fills food bank coffers

Seven-month-old Makai Luke enjoys some soup with a little help from his mom, Bernadette, at this past Saturday’s Empty Bowls event in Bremerton. - Kevan Moore
Seven-month-old Makai Luke enjoys some soup with a little help from his mom, Bernadette, at this past Saturday’s Empty Bowls event in Bremerton.
— image credit: Kevan Moore

Our Saviour’s Lutheran Church in Bremerton was filled to the gills this past Saturday for the Bremerton Foodline’s annual Empty Bowls event.

Bremerton Foodline board member Christine Davis, one of the event’s lead organizers, was pleasantly surprised by Saturday’s large turnout.

“Usually we have between 120 to 130 people. Now, we’re over 150 and making room for more,” Davis said an hour or so into the event.

One of those attendees was newly installed Bremerton Police Chief Steve Strachan.

“Food Banks have always been something that are important to me and I always think of the families doing the very best that they can,” he said. “The thought of a kid that doesn’t have some soup or cereal should be disturbing to all of us. The group here in Bremerton at the Foodline is outstanding in the service that they provide. It was not only fun to be there Saturday, but a cause I feel strongly about.”

Chief Strachan also said that he was pleased to see several of his officers stop by the event unprompted.

The event featured a wide variety of delicious soups and wines, a drawing for a handcrafted bowl, a bake sale, live music, volunteers from Bremerton and beyond and more.

Outgoing Bremerton Foodline board member Tyler Baker was on hand Saturday to help out with service. The shipyard engineer plans to attend medical school at Tulane next year, but spoke fondly of his last three years helping at the Foodline and the Empty Bowls event.

“It’s been a really fun process,” he said. “I’ve gotten to sit down with the crew from Coffee Oasis and talk with them about how to make bowls.”

Other pottery donors for the event included Bremerton High School, Claywerks Ceramics and Pottery Studio, Olympic College Clay Club, the Northwest College of Art and Design and Mistarian Roses.

The Bremerton Foodline was organized by a coalition of churches, social service agencies and individuals and has been a source of emergency food and assistance referrals since 1980. Under the direction of dedicated board, staff, and volunteers, the Foodline has grown from an all-volunteer food bank operating from a church basement into an organization with four part-time staff employees and a large volunteer team at its own facility.

The Foodline is currently meeting the need for emergency food for an expanding number of clients in Bremerton.

In 2010, they served 17,280 households with a total of 47,280 individuals. They also provided 1,083 Summer Kids bags of supplemental food, provided 232 kids with school supplies and provided 75 to 100 food bags for distribution by street ministries.

In 2010, some 20,475 hours were volunteered at the Foodline to help distribute a total of 719,986 pounds of food.

The Bremerton Foodline is located at 1600 12th St. and is open from 10 a.m. to 1:45 p.m. Monday through Friday.


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