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More than 60 area restaurants and bakeries will serve up soup to raise money to fight hunger at the 17th annual Empty Bowls event, which will be held March 2 at Festival Hall. Guests are asked to give $15 for a handcrafted ceramic bowl, which can be filled with soup. This year attendees are being asked to bring a canned good donation and an Empty Bowl from a prior year if they have one. The event aims to raise awareness about hunger and homelessness in the community. A number of businesses, schools and potters donate the clay bowls that are used at the event. “When you see your new bowl in your cupboard at home you’ll be reminded that many in our community do not dine comfortably with family or friends. They have empty bowls because of circumstances beyond their control,” said Heidi Fannin, the event co-chair. “All contributions will be used to feed someone who does not have the food security that you enjoy. We are asking attendees to bring a canned good donation and an Empty Bowl from a previous year.” More than 1,000 people attended the event last year, and the group raised $30,000. “By heightening community awareness that being homeless is not just a problem in poor communities, but a growing problem everywhere, we can do more to help” Fannin said. “Our network of volunteers demonstrates that by everyone taking a small amount of responsibility, we can strive to make a difference.” The organization is also looking for volunteers to help staff the event. If interested, click the link to sign-up.

If YOU Go:

What: 17th annual Empty Bowls, a fundraiser to fight hunger, that will benefit the Homeless Assistance Leadership Organization (HALO) and the Racine County Food Bank. When: 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. to 7 p.m., March 2 Where: Racine Festival Hall, 5 5th St. How much: $15 donation, which includes a ceramic bowl, soup and bread or $10 for “soup to go.” Children under the age of 10 can eat for $5 (in a paper bowl). Live music will be provided at both meals. This year attendees are being asked to bring a canned good donation and an Empty Bowl from a prior year if they have one.

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Denise Lockwood has an extensive background in traditional and non-traditional media. She has written for Patch.com, the Milwaukee Business Journal, Milwaukee Magazine and the Kenosha News.