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Empty Bowls planning meeting planned

A meeting to discuss New Richmond's Empty Bowls fundraiser is planned for Dec. 2.

The Empty Bowls project was started by a teacher in Michigan more than 15 years ago.

Participants create ceramic bowls, then serve a simple meal -- usually of soup and bread. Guests choose a bowl to use that day and to keep as a reminder that there are always Empty Bowls in the world.

In exchange for a meal and the bowl, the guest gives a suggested minimum donation of $10. The money collected is then donated to a designated hunger-fighting organization. In New Richmond, the money goes to Five Loaves Food Center and the Happy Kids Backpack program, which discreetly provides food to low income students and their families for weekends.

New Richmond's second annual Empty Bowls event will be March 2 at Hillside Elementary.

Anyone interested in participating in the event is encouraged to attend the planning meeting on Dec. 2 from 6-7 p.m. in the Hillside Elementary Media Center.

Anyone who wants to be involved, but cannot attend the meeting should call Community Education at 715-243-7421.

The New Richmond Happy Kids Backpack program serves between 40 and 45 families each week. It costs $8.50 to $10 to fill each backpack; this year's total cost will be $13,260 to $15,650.

Five Loaves Food Center has seen an increase of approximately 30 percent. More than 4,000 people were served in 2008; 2,410 adults and 1,704 children.

In 2007, more than 500 people attended New Richmond's Empty Bowls event and $8,200 was raised to help fight hunger.

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