by Kate Evans
Morgan County Starting Points annual Empty Bowls fundraiser will be held on Friday, September 22 from 5-7 p.m. at the Alderton-Dawson American Legion in Berkeley Springs. All of the Empty Bowls proceeds benefit the Starting Points Mealtime Community Kitchen.
Donations of soups made at local restaurants will be available in handcrafted artisan and community-made bowls at the Empty Bowls event, said Starting Points Executive Director Audrey Morris.
Small groups of community members made hand-made bowls at Frog Valley Artisans with artist Veronica Wilson for the event. The Morgan County unit of the Boys and Girls Club of the Eastern Panhandle also made bowls for the Empty Bowls fundraiser, Morris said.
A silent auction, 50/50 raffle and a designer purse raffle will be held at the event. Tickets for the designer purse raffle are on sale now and can also be purchased that evening at Empty Bowls, Morris said. Three new designer purses will be raffled off.
An online auction at the J Lawyer Auction Services website will also run over the next two weeks, she said. Supporters can also make a donation on the Starting Points website or mail in a contribution.
The Empty Bowls fundraiser will be held as an in-person event again for the second year since the COVID pandemic. Morris said they’re really looking forward to seeing everyone again at this year’s Empty Bowls event.
Morris said they have a variety of items available for their Empty Bowls silent auction and online auction.
Auction items include several weekend stays at local cottage properties, a designer mirror from Caperton Furniture Works, a recliner from Clark’s, a carved wooden Topographic map mantlepiece of West Virginia and several gift certificates donated by Inspired Chaos, a gift certificate from Atasia Spa and an antique doll from The Berkeley Springs Antique Mall.
Other auction items include a hand-crafted stoneware bowl donated by Susan Thomas, a metal leaf donated by Glenn Horr, two sets of earrings from Hsu Studios plus artisan bowls and many other items, Morris said.
Empty Bowls is Morgan County Starting Points main fundraising event of the year, Morris said. The Starting Points Family Resource Center provides services, education, information and support to Morgan County families. Their services include the Mealtime Community Kitchen and the Morgan County Backpack Program.
Mealtime Community Kitchen
Starting Points Mealtime Community Kitchen serves meals three days a week-on Mondays, Tuesdays and Fridays-from 3:30 p.m. to 5 p.m. Community Kitchen meals are served at no charge but donations are welcomed.
Morris said that they’ ve been serving an average of 130 meals a day through the Mealtime Community Kitchen, which is an increase of 35-40 meals from what they were serving a day last year at this time.
They are still providing the Community Kitchen meals through a drive-through format at Starting Points. Meals are prepared by limited staff and are delivered by volunteers to vehicles.
Costs for the Starting Points Mealtime Community Kitchen have increased as the price of food, supplies and salaries have all gone up, Morris said.
The Mealtime Community Kitchen receives financial donations from local foundations, churches, businesses, civic organizations and community members and gets retail discounts from local businesses, Morris said.
They also receive food and produce from the Mountaineer Food Bank, the United States Department of Agriculture, the Farmer’s Market, Food Lion, churches, businesses and the community.
Serves homeless and hungry
Morris hoped that people will support their Empty Bowls event by attending or by sending a mailed donation or making an online donation on their website.
Their Mealtime Community Kitchen serves individuals and families that are homeless, hungry and that are struggling to have enough food to eat. Many residents depend on the meals, Morris said. Starting Points relies on the Empty Bowls fundraiser to provide those meals and to run the Community Kitchen.
To mail a donation to the Mealtime Community Kitchen, send contribution to Morgan County Starting Points, 106 Sand Mine Road, Suite 6, Berkeley Springs, WV 25411.
For more information, call Morris at 304-258-5600.