Citizen Wausau

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Come Fill the Empty Bowls

by on October 15th, 2008

Can it be that there are hungry people in the richest nation on Earth?  You don’t even have to think of the answer for that, you know there are.

In modern times the poor are more often children.  In 2006 according to government statistics, about one out of every five children in this country lived in poverty, as compared to one in ten senior citizens.  If things have changed since then, it probably has not been for the better.  Unless we are looking for them, or work in some sort of social service agency, we don’t often see these children, but they live in our community.

Here in Marathon County there are many people who know hunger.  Tom Rau, Executive Director of the Neighbors’ Place, the lead food pantry for Wausau, says the pantry serves about 1,000 unique families per month.  And it is not just the same 1,000 families every month.  If the statistics bear out, then some 3,000 to 5,000 families in Marathon County live in poverty and may seek food assistance.

And what do our brothers and sisters find when they seek our help for themselves and their children?  Lately, the answer has sometimes been, “Not much.”  The food pantry shelves all across Wausau and Marathon County have gone bare several times over the past year.  Generous people try to refill them, but the need remains great.

And so we will come together, in a small but significant way, to literally fill the empty bowls of the hungry.  Our individual donations might be small, but together we can help meet the growing need in our community.  Please contribute what your pocketbook will allow and what you conscience demands to this worthy cause.

There will be other times for talk about hunger and poverty, the causes and the cures, but Empty Bowls is a time for action.  With the goal of raising money and awareness, a group of concerned community members, along with our presenting sponsor, River Valley Bank, are hosting the 1st Annual Wausau Area Empty Bowls at University of Wisconsin – Marathon County on Sat., October 25th from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m.

Admission to the event is $10 for adults, $5 for children 6-12, with children 5 and under are free.  Participants paying the $10 admission price will receive a handmade bowl to take home along with a lunch of soup and a side of bread.  Throughout the event there will be live music with Jim Carlson, Aaron Scharmer, Barry Liss, Parker Siems, Gregory Venne, Jon Shea and Mike Dopkins.  A Silent Auction will feature art, jewelry, books as well as bowls signed by Michelle Obama, Senator Hillary Clinton, Ricky Skaggs, LeAnn Rimes, Jon Bon Jovi and more.

All proceeds will do to benefit The Neighbors’ Place Food Pantry: emptybowls.wordpress.com.

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