Boise fills "Empty Bowls"

BOISE, Idaho (KBOI) - For 15 years now the Empty Bowls fundraiser has helped people acquire cool locally-made art and feed them a hot meal of soup all while raising money for the Idaho Foodbank. The brightly colored bowls helped to add some cheer to Boise's Grove Plaza on a decidedly drab day.

People were lining up over an hour before it opened...all waiting for their chance to grab some hot soup and bread and a new piece of art for their house.

"I just am excited to get a really unique bowl and have opportunity to give some money to the Idaho Foodbank and, I don't know, it's kind of a fun and easy thing to do," says Jaymie Otter, who went to the fundraiser.

Over 2000 of these bowls have been hand-crafted and hand-painted by local artists and donated to the foodbank, and the soups were donated from over 20 local restaurants. Empty Bowls brings in enough money each year to provide about 75,000 meals for those in the community who need it.

"This is just really a wonderful community event. It's one of our favorite and it's a community favorite as well," says Jenifer Johnson, an Idaho Foodbank spokeswoman.

As evidenced by the 1800 people who, on average, have attended the fundraiser each year...helping to fill those empty bowls.

"There's such a variety I think it would be a lot of fun to pick out one. I'm going to wait in line and find out what's out there first, before I choose one, but I think that's kind of fun," says Pam Pearce, who attended the fundraiser.