Empty Bowls fundraiser returns to Martha's Table this weekend

The flagship fundraiser for Martha's Table makes its' return this Sunday after a year of absence.

The event sees ticket holders choose a bowl crafted by the Kingston Potters Guild as well as a soup of their choice from sixteen different restaurants that have made donations.

In the past, the University Club has donated their space for the event, but in order to follow COVID regulations this year's fundraiser will take place outdoors under a tent on Martha's Table property. 

Ronda Candy, executive director at Martha's Table, says she wasn't sure what kind of support to expect with the return of the fundraiser with some changes to the format. 

With tickets sold out however, Candy says she and her team have been thrilled to see the show of support from the community.

"I really didn't know what to expect because it's such a different event and I didn't know how receptive people would be," Candy said.

"But they sold out I swear faster than usual, so I think people are looking for some sense of normalcy."

This year's event encourages attendees to take their bowls of soup home after possibly stopping for a silent auction bid or two, and Candy says she's spoken to some ticket holders who plan to meet for smaller gatherings with their soup and bowls after picking up. 

She says this event has become ingrained in tradition for a number of community members, with some people supporting and attending the event as many as twenty years before the cancelation of last year. 

With such little clarity and experience around COVID regulations and safety protocols, cancelation of last year's event was a necessity.

In its' place Martha's Table hosted a raffle, with the main prize being a KIA Forte. 

Candy says it was sometimes difficult to even safely showcase the car around Kingston in the pandemic.

She added that Martha's Table had to buy the vehicle for the raffle, causing some stress to at the very least sell enough tickets to pay off the purchase. 

"That was a little a nerve racking," Candy said.

"But we managed to surpass the cost of the expense associated with the fundraising and made some profit."

She says Martha's Table may look to do another raffle, although not likely a car, in the springtime. 

Collected funds go towards supporting Martha's Tables operating costs, which at this time serves take out meals from 11 AM to 1 PM every day of the week. 

During the pandemic Martha's Table also managed to incorporate a much needed delivery service, bringing meals to 150 vulnerable members of the community throughout the week. 

Although this weekend's event is completely sold out, donations of food and money are still accepted and appreciated at Martha's Table.

Story by Owen Fullerton, YGK News, for the Local Journalism Initiative

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  • Dinah Jansen
    published this page in News 2021-10-19 12:32:56 -0400