BOISE, Idaho — UPDATE (11/29): Due to an incident Thursday night, Empty Bowls is moving to the Wells Fargo just off The Grove Plaza. That address is 877 W Main Street, Suite 100, Boise.
ORIGINAL: It's a post-Thanksgiving tradition to kick off the season of giving in the Treasure Valley. The Idaho Foodbank is getting ready for its 22nd annual Empty Bowls event this Friday.
The event gives you a chance to experience what it's like to stand in a soup line. Empty Bowls is free to take part in and allows you to support the Foodbank directly by purchasing a bowl. The bowls are handcrafted or hand painted by professional and amateur artisans, students and studios and are collected throughout the year. This year's event features more than 2,000 bowls for purchase, starting at $10.
Soup and bread is provided with each bowl purchase. Restaurants participating this year include: 13th Street Pub and Grill, Alavita, Albertsons, Basque Market, Bittercreek Alehouse, Bonefish Grill, Cottonwood Grille, Fork, Grove Hotel/Trillium, Highland's Hollow Brew House, Kanak Attack, Lemon Tree Co., Locavore, Lock Stock & Barrel, Luciano's, Lucky Fins, Parrilla Grill, Plantation Country Club, Tucanos, Westside Drive In, Wild Root Cafe, and Z's Rooftop Cafe.
Donations through Empty Bowls go toward The Idaho Foodbank's goal to acquire and distribute food for nearly 2.8 million nutritious meals--totaling more than 3.4 million pounds--in November and December. Every $1 the Foodbank receives can provide enough food for up to five meals.
Last year's Empty Bowls raised over $43,000, meaning the Foodbank was able to provide almost 217,000 meals. In almost two decades, Empty Bowls has raised more than $405,000 in monetary gifts and another $73,000 in in-kind donations. The Boise community has bought more than 50,000 bowls created by fellow community members.
If you can't make it out to Empty Bowls, you can still support The Idaho Foodbank through the Hope for the Holidays campaign. The Foodbank distributed more than 13,000 hams, roasts and turkeys during the 2018 holiday season, thanks to the community's help. The meals provide a little peace and a special holiday memory for Idahoans struggling to make ends meet.
Empty Bowls is Friday, November 29 from 10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at The Grove Plaza in downtown Boise. To find out more, click here. You can also support The Idaho Foodbank online and follow their efforts on social media: Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.