Empty Bowls fills need for nearly 1 million RGV familiesdfwnewsa | October 26, 2023 | 0 | East Texas News , South Texas News
A little painting and a whole lot of generosity helped generate enough money this month to feed around 900,000 Rio Grande Valley residents thanks to the largest food benefit in the region.
The Food Bank of the Rio Grande Valley hosted its 17th annual Empty Bowls luncheon and silent auction Tuesday, Oct. 17, when attendees gathered to help raise funds and address food insecurity in the area.
The nonprofit organization held its premiere fundraiser at the Bert Ogden Arena in Edinburg where according to Leslie Ramirez, marketing assistant, the food bank raised approximately $180,000.
The money raised will help generate four and a half truckloads of food.
Empty Bowls is the food bank’s biggest fundraiser and consists of painting parties throughout the year, where Valley residents are invited to paint and decorate empty bowls that represent the hunger facing many in South Texas who struggle to afford food.
Although poverty rates have fallen in the region over the years, it’s still around 25% in Hidalgo and Cameron counties, according to the latest U.S. Census data. And with inflation driving up the cost of food, so too did the demand for help increase in the Valley where more than 1.4 million people reside.
Throughout the fundraiser, which began in June, the food bank has received monetary donations from businesses including Junior’s Supermarket.
The supermarket donated a total of $10,000 which will provide about 50,000 meals to families in need.
Another local business that pitched in was 7 Brew. Through their September Hero fundraiser, the coffee shop raised a total of $3,900.
Ramirez explained that the event’s sponsor, H-E-B Hunger Relief, donated enough money to feed 100,000 people across the Valley.
To see more, view MyRGV staff photographer Joel Martinez’s full photo gallery here:
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