Empty Bowls fundraiser aids Food Bank

By Ben Olson
Reader Staff

Hunger is an important issue for Nannette Heintzelman. For the past three years, Heintzelman has organized the Empty Bowls fundraiser in Sandpoint, which combines art with philanthropy and hot soup into one of the more unique events in town.

The Empty Bowls fundraiser will take place Saturday, Nov. 18, from 4-8 p.m. at the Columbia Bank building. Empty Bowls is an international project that aims to fight hunger one bowl at a time.

Heintzelman got the idea to be involved after volunteering at the Bonner Community Food Bank about ten years ago.

“I had a friend from Lewiston who volunteered at their food bank,” she said. “She posted how Boise does the Empty Bowls fundraiser the day after Thanksgiving and said it was their number one fundraiser.”

Heintzelman went to the Bonner Community Food Bank and said, “Let’s do this.”

The idea is simple: Heintzelman and other volunteers set up a wide variety of donated bowls at the Sandpoint Center inside the Columbia Bank building. Patrons pay a $20 fee and pick a bowl of their choosing, which is then filled with “Judy’s famous potato leek soup.” Throw in a hunk of bread and a truffle and the meal is complete. Also, the 219 Lounge has donated beer and wine available for purchase, with proceeds also going toward the Food Bank. What’s more, patrons keep the bowl they choose, which makes a great gift idea for loved ones.

“The whole idea is to replicate the soup line of the ‘20s,” said Heintzelman. “We have games and trivia, and we’ll also have a life raffle with items from over 50 local businesses.”

Last year, the Empty Bowls fundraiser chose Bonner Homeless Transitions to benefit. This year, Bonner Community Food Bank will receive the proceeds.

“I love helping with these fundraisers and this is a fun one,” said Heintzelman. “It’s a good way to get people out and spend some money for a good cause. The Food Bank really deserves the contributions because a lot of people lost their food stamps recently.”

For more information, contact the Bonner Community Food Bank at (208) 263-3663.

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