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Saturday, February 15, 2014

Support the needy at Our Daily Bread's Empty Bowls event


Sheriff Stacey Kincaid and Greg Kincaid.

Enjoy a fun evening while helping to raise money for needy families at Our Daily Bread’s Empty Bowls event. It’s Feb. 27, 6-8 p.m. at the Stacy C. Sherwood Community Center, 3740 Old Lee Highway, Fairfax.

This is Our Daily Bread’s 30th anniversary. The nonprofit organization provides food, financial assistance, and financial education to help struggling families throughout Fairfax County achieve self-sufficiency.

Attendees at the Empty Bowls event will select a handcrafted bowl made by a local artist, student, or community member to take home and enjoy soup and bread donated by local businesses as a reminder of those who are going hungry in our community.

Among those donating bowls for the event are Annandale ceramics artist Susan Fox Hirschmann and her students. Local officials contributed, too, including Fairfax County Sheriff Stacey Kincaid (in photo above), who painted bowls at an Asian American Day of Service hosted by Herndon Town Council member Grace Wolf, owner of Clay Cafe Studios in Chantilly.

The evening will include live music by the Fairfax Saxophone Quartet, children’s activities, and a silent auction that includes an Outer Banks beach house rental, a Wintergreen house rental, wine tastings, artwork by local artists, gift baskets, local restaurant and business gift cards, and more. A new feature this year is a raffle for a four-day family trip to Disney World or the Kennedy Space Center.

Admission to Empty Bowls is $30 per adult if you register in advance online or $35 at the door. It’s $10 per child or $25 for three or more children (hand-crafted bowl not included).

In 2013, Our Daily Bread provided short-term food assistance to 309 families, emergency financial assistance to 333 families, and budget classes, free financial counseling, and financial mentoring for 682 individuals and families. The non-profit also provided school supply assistance to 1,500 children in the Fairfax High School and JEB Stuart High School pyramids, and Thanksgiving and December holiday assistance to 3,467 families.

Many of the individuals and families who receive Our Daily Bread’s services are working, but are struggling to pay for housing, utilities, gas, and food because of unemployment, reduced work hours, health care needs, or other crises.

“It takes an income of about $60,000 for a family of four to thrive in the Fairfax County area. Most of the clients we help only make about $22,000 per year,” says Our Daily Bread Executive Director Lisa Whetzel. “Here in one of the wealthiest areas in the nation, it is shocking that tens of thousands of people struggle with hunger and hardship on a daily basis.”

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