Ever since Loaves & Fishes of Tompkins County starting searching for business sponsors for its signature Empty Bowls fundraising event two years ago, Cornell’s University Relations division has come through with $500 sponsorships.
That means a lot to the Ithaca nonprofit, whose meal service has more than doubled since the COVID-19 pandemic. In July, for example, Loaves & Fishes prepared almost 5,500 free meals (all to-go since March), compared with 2,800 in July 2019. And that’s with half the number of volunteers.
“The guests at Loaves & Fishes have some of the most amazing, inspiring and moving stories I’ve ever heard,” said weekly volunteer Kathy Hovis, a writer for the College of Arts and Sciences. “Being able to greet them and offer them a wonderful meal of delicious food is a highlight of my week.”
To support Loaves and Fishes’ mission, the Empty Bowls event on Oct. 10 will be a to-go meal this year and will include a hand-crafted bowl donated by a local potter. The meals will be prepared by Gola Osteria; The Boatyard Grill; Taste of Thai Express; Moosewood; Maxie’s Supper Club and Oyster Bar; Wide Awake Bakery; The Garden Cafe (Cayuga Medical Center); and The Statler Hotel at Cornell.
Tickets are $75 each and can be purchased here. All proceeds directly support Loaves & Fishes’ mission. And because the organization is currently only accepting volunteers 25 and older, new volunteers are critically needed. Social distancing is strictly enforced.
– Susan S. Lang ’72