Empty Bowls Monongalia (EBM) has had its most successful year yet in its ongoing fight against hunger.
EBM has been operating for seven years, with each year seeing marked increases in funds raised to combat food insecurity. In 2014, a total of $77,750 was raised, an $12,550 increase over last year.
The money raised was distributed to 21 agencies addressing three different types of need: Meal programs, food pantries and weekend backpack programs. All 18 recipients from 2013 reapplied and three new applicants were added in 2014.
Sundale Nursing Home Marketing Director Donna Tennant attributes the success of the fundraising to increased education on food insecurity.
“We’re always looking at other countries and they don’t have enough food, and we often don’t see it happening right here in our own communities,” she said.
Meals on Wheels, Bartlett House, Morgantown Community Kitchen, Clay-Battelle Family Services, Avery United Methodist Church Snack Pack Program and Rock Forge Presbyterian Food Pantry were a few of the groups that received funds from EBM.
Preparations are already under way for next year’s Empty Bowls luncheon, which will be held at the Mylan Park Event Center on Feb. 28, Tennant said.
“We’re motivated and determined to break the $100,000 barrier,” Tennant said. “We’re out to combat hunger. I believe we can raise $100,00. We’re going to.”
She also said the kick-off for next year’s fundraising will begin Sept. 18 at Monongalia General Hospital.
Those looking to volunteer or contribute are encouraged to visit ebmon.org to donate or contact Empty Bowls board members.