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Empty Bowls luncheon set for this Friday

Perhaps, it’s not a widely-known fact that, back during America’s Great Depression, the model for the soup kitchen was actually originated with Al Capone, the notorious gang leader from Chicago.

Capone’s intention was to clean up his gangster reputation. His soup kitchens served three meals a day for those who were unemployed during Hard Times. During the Great Depression, a soup kitchen could be found in every city and every town. Society made sure that soup was available for every person who was hungry.

Today, soup kitchens continue to help feed the hungry of the world.

The Pike County Salvation Army’s Empty Bowls Luncheon is a throwback of sorts to the soup kitchens of the Great Depression.  The luncheon features different soups, chilies and stews. Each participant chooses an “empty” handmade, pottery bowl to take home as a reminder of the tens of thousands of people around the world who know the meaning of real hunger, said Kim May, director of the Pike County Salvation Army Service Center and Thrift Store.

“Our Empty Bowls Luncheon is set for 11 a.m. until 2 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 18, at the Bush Baptist Church Family Life Center,” May said. “It will be Empty Bowls, almost as usual. We will have 19 soups, stews and chilies made by some of the best cooks in town and some of the best restaurants, dessert and bottled water. Because of COVID-19, diners will have the option of dining in or carrying out.”

May said the tables and chairs will be arranged to comply with social distancing and all participants will be asked to wear masks when going through the soup line and selecting an “empty bowl” to take home.

“Those who chose the carry-out option will have their choice of three “soups,” dessert and bottle water and, of course, a clay bowl.

Ed Whatley will be the featured entertainment for the fundraising event.

Tickets for the 2020 Empty Bowls Luncheon are $20 and are available at the Salvation Army Service Center at 509 South Brundidge Street in Troy and at the door.

All proceeds from Empty Bowls support the Pike County Salvation Army Food Pantry and friends and neighbors in need.