By Riley Manning/NEMS Daily Journal
TUPELO – On Tuesday and Thursday mornings throughout the year, the ladies of the Salvation Army Women’s Auxiliary can be found in “the Mud Room,” making bowls in preparation for the Salvation Army’s annual Empty Bowls event.
“Aside from Angel Tree, this is probably our biggest event of the year,” said Auxiliary member Judy Hosaflook. “The Auxiliary is made up of about 20 women and through the year they make between 1,500 and 1,600 bowls.”
This year will mark Empty Bowls’ 15th year, but unlike previous years, it will be on March 27, instead of its usual Ash Wednesday date because of scheduling conflicts at the Tupelo Furniture Market’s Building Five. Auxiliary member Sarah Harris said the change might garner even more attendance.
“The weather will be warmer and hopefully more people will be around Tupelo for Easter,” she said. “Last year over 2,300 people turned out for it, so hopefully we can top that this year.”
Attendees will be given a styrofoam bowl and will choose a soup from options provided by more than 70 local restaurants. At their table, attendees will receive a piece of bread and a cup of water. When when they leave, they’ll be given a bowl crafted by the Auxiliary as a memento.
Hosaflook said Empty bowls has become quite the social event.
“People spend a lot of time visiting and shopping around at booths vendors have set up to sell pottery or baked goods,” she said. “I just hope they realize the point of Empty Bowls is to emphasize the fact that a bowl of soup, a piece of bread, a cup of water, that’s it for some people.”
The proceeds, which exceeded $70,000 last year, go toward funding the Army’s meal program – which serves those in need three meals a day – and expanding the Army’s lodge facility.
Tickets will go on sale Feb. 20, and may be purchased for $15 from the Salvation Army Headquarters at 527 Carnation St., or from any Auxiliary member or participating businesses.