A line snakes out the door at St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church for the 12:45 p.m. seating of the Empty Bowls Arlington Food Assistance Center fundraiser on Sunday, February 2. Charles Meng, CEO and executive director of Arlington Food Assistance Center, said the tickets sold out within 2-3 days.
Over 150 attendees at each of two seatings linger over the choice of an original pottery bowl designed by local potters and donated for the event. Scott Kaye has brought his pottery wheel and is demonstrating how he creates a pottery bowl from a lump of clay. He says he created a couple of dozen bowls for the event. Kaye says he started as a potter in his 20s, then took a 37½ year diversion and came back to pottery a year and a half ago.
The next decision is which soup should fill the newly-acquired bowl from the five choices donated by local restaurants including beef chili from the Cowboy Cafe, tomato bisque from the Carlyle, a vegetarian lentil from Lebanese Taverna, tomato bisque from Cheesetique and
chicken noodle from The Renegade.
The sounds of Simon’s Junction bluegrass band mingle with conversation and the clinking of spoons. Senator Mark Warner has made a surprise appearance and is greeting the crowd waiting to begin enjoying their soup.
Meng says this is the 8th year for the event which raises funds for AFAC programs. AFAC is a non-profit organization that supplies supplemental groceries to Arlington families in need. It was
established over 30 years ago by a small group of citizens and six congregations to feed 59 families who were facing life’s struggles. Today the program is serving 2,400 families weekly who receive fresh fruits and vegetables, chicken, milk, eggs, canned items and bread.