Good Samaritan Ministries in Brownwood preparing for Empty Bowls project

Steve Nash
Brownwood Bulletin
Empty Bowls

Good Samaritan Ministries is preparing for its annual Empty Bowls event, which, like last year, will consist of a drive-thru at the GSM Food Warehouse, 305 Clark St. in Brownwood.

Billed as the “Really” Empty Bowls Project, the event — which is part of GSM’s battle against hunger — will be from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursday, April 29.

Participants will drive up and for a $10 donation receive a bowl and a coupon from one of GSM’s Soup-er Samaritan Food Sponsors. 

Community bowl painting for the Empty Bowls Project traditionally happens in January and February, but did not take place in 2020 or 2021 due to COVID safety concerns.  Instead, GSM has purchased a limited number of ceramic campfire style bowls with the Empty Bowls Project logo to share with those who attend the event.

“We regret that there will not be opportunities for area schools, churches, nursing homes and businesses who have donated their time and talents in the past to paint bowls for the event,” GSM posted on its website. “We hope that bowl painting will return in the future.

GSM stated:

The Empty Bowl concept should serve as a reminder of the fight against hunger both locally and globally. Those who do not have enough to eat often have only that — an empty bowl. 

This project provides the community an opportunity to help in a safe social distancing way while helping those who could have truly empty bowls this year due to job loss, sickness and COVID-19. 

This is GSM’s largest fundraiser of the year and 90 percent of the proceeds stay in Brown County, benefitting  hunger ministries such as the Food Pantry, Food for Thought, Homebound Program, Homeless Boxes, the Deer Project, the Pig Project and the Mobile Food Pantry.

The remaining 10 percent is donated to an international hunger relief organization such as Samaritan's Purse, Food for the Hungry or The Heifer Project to fight global hunger. 

For each $10 admission ticket, participants will receive a bowl and a coupon from local favorite restaurants.  A limited number of bowls will be available on a first-come, first-served basis for participants to take home as a reminder that this event fights hunger locally and globally. 

The GSM website about Empty Bowls addressed several questions including:  

Is hunger really a problem in Brown County?

Yes! GSM provides supplemental nutrition to an average of 700 families per month.  We also provide weekend nutrition to approximately 200 chronically hungry schoolchildren on 15 area campuses. According to the latest Feeding America statistics, 14.8% of the population of Brown County is food insecure, meaning that they have limited or uncertain access to food.

 What is this year’s goal?

The Empty Bowls Project is Good Samaritan Ministries’ largest fundraising activity each year. Our goal is $50,000. Proceeds from this event supplement the other donations and grants we receive.

 What is the admission cost?

A: For each $10 “admission” ticket or minimum donation, participants receive a food coupon donated by area restaurants and businesses. Bowls will be available on a first-come, first-served basis for participants to take home as a reminder that this event fights hunger both locally and globally.

Who are some of the food sponsors?

We are very excited about our Samaritan Food Sponsors!  This year Chick-fil-A, McAlister’s, Cotton Patch, The Runaway Train, Section Hand and Steve’s Market & Deli are just a few that you will be able to choose from.  A complete list of Samaritan Food Sponsors can be found on our webpage and our Facebook page.

Is the Resale Store doing anything special for the Empty Bowls Project this year?

Yes. The Resale Store is doing a special sale on Saturday, May 1, from 9 a.m. - noon.  We have designer handbags, art, home décor, collector edition items and many other one-of-a-kind things that we have been saving all year for the Empty Bowls Project.  Watch our Facebook page for information about these items leading up to that sale.  Proceeds from the Resale Store support the operation of our hunger programs.

How can I help?

Plan to attend the Empty Bowls Project.  Get a car load of friends & family and come on by.  Volunteer opportunities will be available the day of the event.  Call Stacy to sign up your group to help.  PRAY for Good Samaritan Ministries not only for this event but year round.