ECHO Raises Hunger Awareness With 2nd Annual Empty Bowls

By Kathy L. Collins

For one in four area residents, hunger and not having enough to eat are every day problems. To help raise awareness of this pervasive issue and to raise funds to combat hunger, the Emergency Care Help Organization (ECHO) of Brandon is holding its 2nd Annual Empty Bowls event. The event will be held on Saturday, February 15 from Noon-

Join attorney Ingrid Hooglander as she proudly sponsors ECHO's 2nd Annual  Empty Bowls event on Saturday, February 15.

Join attorney Ingrid Hooglander as she proudly sponsors ECHO’s 2nd Annual Empty Bowls event on Saturday, February 15.

2 p.m. at the Boys and Girls Club located at 213 Knights Ave. in Brandon.

Tickets are just $15 for adults and $10 for children 12 and under. Each attendee will get to taste several delicious soups prepared by area restaurants, businesses and organizations. In addition, the first 200 will receive a hand-crafted clay bowl created by area elementary students. The “empty” bowl represents hunger in our area.

“ECHO’s Empty Bowls event is not only a fundraiser, but it is also an opportunity for the community to come together, learn about hunger in our area and enjoy a delicious taste of soup,” said Stacey Efaw, Executive Director of ECHO.

The Empty Bowls event will help raise funds that ECHO uses to purchase much needed non-perishable foods as well as healthy and nutritious fresh produce, lean proteins and dairy items. For over 25 years, ECHO has been providing emergency food and clothing assistance to area residents  facing financial emergency.

“When individuals and families are in crisis due to job loss, injury or domestic issues, they must often decide whether to buy food or pay bills. ECHO was established to help these people, but we cannot do this without the support of the community,” said Efaw.

“We are so grateful to our presenting sponsor, the Law Office of Ingrid Hooglander, PA for their support. Last year ECHO assisted over 16,000 area residents, half of whom are children. We could not do this without supporters such as Ms. Hooglander and her firm,” added Efaw.

To become a sponsor of ECHO’s 2nd Annual Empty Bowls event, or would like to purchase a ticket to attend, please contact Stacey Efaw at 685-0935 or visit www.echofl.org.