Empty Bowl Soup Kitchen May 14 in Parksville

The event has raised more than $28,000 over the past eight years

More well-off residents of the Central Island likely haven’t gone to a soup kitchen, but that’s exactly what Jaynie Starr and the rest of the Mayworks team are hoping they’ll do on Saturday, May 14.

That’s when Mayworks and the Oceanside Coalition for Strong Communities present their ninth annual Empty Bowl Soup Kitchen at the Parksville Community and Conference Centre.

Mayworks is a yearly festival of labour and the arts that is held in several communities across Canada.

The Empty Bowls event is a fundraiser for the Salvation Army food bank and features local potters making unique bowls, into which soup donated by top-flight local restaurants is poured.

“It’s a great coming together of many different people and businesses and artisans and cooks in our community,” Starr said. “We have 300 bowls donated and Tigh-Na-Mara, Lefty’s, Herons, Bradleys and Alain Bernard make and donate the soup. The community members purchase tickets for $15 and they get to keep the bowl and sample the donated soup.”

The event has strong local support, raising $28,000 over the past eight years for the food bank.

“It’s a very successful and well-attended event,” Starr said, noting as many as 250 people have taken part, although organizers are prepared for 300.

This year, music will be provided by the Bluegrass Jammers. Quality Foods is donating a cake.

Tickets for the event, which runs from 4-6 p.m. can be picked up at Mulberry Bush Book Stores and Cranky Dog Music, as well as at the door.

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