Event brings attention to those who go hungry

The idea is simple: Everyone should have enough to eat. And that is the idea behind Share and behind Share’s second Empty Bowls event.

The community outreach organization is serving a simple meal of soup and bread on Sunday afternoon, for the second year in a row, to raise money for its food pantry.

And there’s a reason it’s held in the spring. The biggest de­mands on the pantry come dur­ing the summer, when children can’t receive free or reduced-price lunches at school. Sum­mer is also when the attention of people who donate to Share during the winter holidays tends to lag.

"People are very generous for half the year, but contributions are slow and dry up in the spring and summer, when there is the greatest demand," said Paul Spiess, who will be taking over as chairman of Share’s board of directors soon.

Spiess also sees the event as a learning experience for the chil­dren who are making the bowls and bringing their parents to the event.

"It’s a way young people can understand what we are," and also a way for Share to touch base with their parents, he said.

Share serves people in Am­herst, Brookline, Milford, Mont Vernon and Wilton. Students in Milford, Amherst and Mont Ver­non schools have created many of the bowls that will be used to serve soup.

Many of those kids wouldn’t even be aware of Share if it were not for their pottery making, Spiess said.

The event will be held in the function hall of the Share build­ing. All soups, breads and re­freshments will be donated by local restaurants and vendors.

Soups will be donated by Moulton’s Market, the Black Forest Cafe, the Longhorn Steakhouse, Union Street Grill, Windows on West Street, Papa Joe’s Humble Kitchen and Gior­gio’s Restaurant. Everyone who comes to the lunch will be able to take their bowl home.

Breads will be donated by the Dutch Epicure/Good Loaf.

Tickets will be available at the door for $20, or $15 for senior cit­izens, and $50 for families. There is parking on-site, and people can come anytime between noon and 2 p.m.

"This event is symbolic of the limited food options available to people living in poverty or on the margins of economic stabil­ity," Shannon Chandley, chair­woman of the board of directors, said in a press release.

Last year, Share’s Empty Bowls event served about 180 people and earned about $5,000 for Share without much advance promotion, Spiess said. This year, he hopes to double that.

For more information, visit www.sharenh.org.

Kathy Cleveland can be reached at 673-3100 or kcleveland@cabinet. com.