Empty Bowls and Full Stomachs

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By: Anderw Spader

I suppose I shouldn’t have been all that surprised that the first thing I saw as I entered an event call Empty Bowls was a table simply covered with beautifully crafted clay bowls. There were your typical round bowls in earthy tones, but there were also more exotic bowls. I saw a couple that were square or rectangular shaped, some that had patterns worked into the clay, and even a couple that were so small it seemed like they were made more for holding keys than soup. Of course, while each person who attended the event was able to take their pick of the many unique bowls available, these were not the bowls they ate out of.

If I was surprised at all about the number and variety of the different bowls, I was even more amazed at the many different varieties of soup served at this event. There were 16 different kinds of soup, each sponsored by a different organization. Many of these soups were pork based. There was Pork Carnitas soup, Sausage Cheese Tortellini soup, Ham and Bean soup, and of course the Smokey Pork, Bacon and White Bean Chili served by the Nebraska Pork Producers. One man told me as he was try a new kind of soup, “If it’s got sausage, bacon, any kind of pork in it, you know it’s going to be good.”

There were a ton of delicious soups at this event and plenty of artistic handmade bowls, but what I think was the most amazing thing about this fundraiser was the sheer number of people who turned out to support the Lincoln Food Bank. It was almost hard to walk in the huge Embassy Suites ballroom. It seemed everywhere I looked there was another dozen people weaving their way through the tables, trying to find their way to where a soup they had yet to try was being served. Everyone appeared to be having a great time, giving suggestions to friends and even complete strangers as to what soups they should try next. I am thoroughly glad to have attended an event to support such a great cause.

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