MONROE, La. (KNOE) - The Food Bank of Northeast Louisiana hosted its 4th annual Empty Bowls event. It is the organization's biggest fundraiser of the year.
"It is just my most favorite event of the entire community, because it really serves a wonderful purpose, feeding those who are hungry," Hope Fruge says.
Fruge's Health For Hope, along with 20 other vendors, filled empty bowls as people stopped by each booth.
Fruge says it’s important for her to do what she can to fight hunger in the area. "Louisiana has a real struggle with food insecurity, especially in our area. One in 5 are hungry,” Fruge says.
“So, we have a ton of people who are walking around who don't know where their next meal is going to come from, and that's where the food bank steps in and serves that need."
People enjoyed live music, painting and even more bowls being handcrafted on-site too. They were even able to take home their own handcrafted bowls made by local artists, while trying some of the best food in the area.
"The empty bowls are symbolic of all the empty bowls in our community," says Jean Toth says, executive director of the food bank. "We have almost 70,000 people who are food-insecure here in northeast Louisiana. Of those 70,000, about 21,000 are kids."
Toth says this event helps them continue their mission. "This really helps the food bank keep our doors open. We supply food to other nonprofits so they have pantries in their neighborhoods."
"We send 800 kids with a backpack full of food every weekend, and we serve about 1400 seniors every month. So, this just helps us help the community," Toth says.