Soup’s on for Empty Bowls

Empty Bowls Luncheon

n What: This fundraiser will supply 30,000 of the 47,000 meals the Salvation Army will provide for the hungry in Tupelo this year.

n When: 11 a.m.-1 p.m. Wednesday

n Where: Tupelo Furniture Market, Building V, 1879 N. Coley Road, Tupelo

n Cost: $12 will buy a bowl of soup, bread, water and a souvenir pottery bowl made by a local artisan. Tickets are available at the information desk at The Mall at Barnes Crossing, Midnite Pottery, Reed’s Gum Tree Bookstore, Keep It Casual and The Salvation Army Thrift Store. Fax advanced orders to (662) 841-9465; on Wednesday place orders by calling (662) 842-4442.

n More info: Call Marguerite Johnson at (662) 842-8588 or (662) 231-2879.

n The Salvation Army Women’s Auxiliary hopes to raise more than $20,000 to feed Tupelo’s hungry.

By Charity Gordon

Daily Journal

TUPELO – Organizing the annual Empty Bowls Luncheon is a lot like cooking a big pot of soup: There are many ingredients, and they all come together to form a hearty solution to hunger.

From 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Wednesday, the 90 or so volunteers of the Salvation Army Women’s Auxiliary in Tupelo will see their months of planning pay off. More than 30 restaurant chefs will provide the area’s tastiest soups, and more than 1,800 pottery bowls will be wrapped and ready to give away.

Dozens of donated baked goods and gift items will be available for purchase for the group’s largest annual fundraiser.

The Salvation Army in Tupelo provides 47,000 meals each year for those in need. Susan Gilbert, director of social services, says money raised during the Empty Bowls Luncheon buys close to 30,000 of those meals.

“The money from this event goes just for food,” she said.

Area restaurants are providing most of the soup for the luncheon. Jimmy Pappas, owner of Summit Hotel and Convention Center, says he’s been donating soup for the event for several years. On Wednesday he’ll donate five or so gallons of clam chowder.

“Last year we did cream of chicken. We change it up every year,” he said. “It’s always fun being out there with the crowd, and it’s for such a good cause.”

David Barnes, manager of Harveys, says his restaurant donated soup at the first Empty Bowls fundraiser nine years ago and has kept it up ever since. This year Harveys will provide several gallons of crawfish chowder, which won the best soup award at last year’s luncheon.

“It’s a goodwill thing to give to the community,” he said. “And we like the opportunity to have a lot of people taste our crawfish chowder.”

Marguerite Johnson, chairperson for the fundraiser, says she is especially excited about the event’s bake sale. Auxiliary members will donate cakes, bread and other homemade items to sell.

“We’re usually sold out in the first 45 minutes,” Johnson said. “And we’re selling frozen casseroles for the first time this year.”

In addition, auxiliary member Jackie Couch says people and businesses have donated many valuable items to sell at bargain prices.

“One woman just gave us an expensive pair of earrings,” she said. “We also have spa treatment certificates given by Skin Care by Iris.”

Contact Daily Journal religion editor Charity Gordon at (662) 678-1586 or charity.gordon@djournal.com.