AUSTIN, Texas - The Austin Empty Bowl Project is going virtual for 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The 24th annual event to fight hunger in Central Texas will begin on Sunday, Nov. 8, and run through Sunday, Nov. 22.
The pre-Thanksgiving Austin tradition will benefit Meals on Wheels Central Texas' Meals for Kids and the Central Texas Food Bank's Kids Café program through online raffles, a silent auction, monetary donations, and merchandise sales.
"We've survived wind, cold, sleet, rain, and three moves. When COVID-19 hit, we were determined not to be defeated," said event co-director Hester Weigand. "The needs of our community are greater than ever. So we're moving again, this time online. Join us November 8th through the 22nd at austinemptybowl.org. And thanks from all of us."
Participants can go online and purchase the latest Austin Empty Bowl Project t-shirts and totes designed by Sam Hurt and raffle tickets for a chance to win a beautiful Nancy Elder quilt. They can also bid on locally-created ceramics and restaurant gift cards in a silent auction, and for each donation of $25, a bowl created for the event will be provided to a local family in need being served by the Central Texas Food Bank or Meals on Wheels Central Texas, says the Project.
A highlight of this year's event will be a virtual concert on Friday, November 20th, from 5-7 p.m. featuring performances by Texas musicians Betty Soo, Jeff Plankenhorn, Lloyd Maines and Terri Hendrix, Carolyn Wonderland, Ordinary Elephant, Susan Gibson, Bonnie Whitmore, Jaimee Harris, and Shelley King. Tickets for the concert are available for purchase online, with proceeds going to the hunger relief organizations.
"Although COVID-19 may keep us physically distanced for this year's Austin Empty Bowl Project, it's more important than ever that we join forces to combat hunger in our community," said MOWCT president and CEO Adam Hauser. "Austin Empty Bowl Project is a pre-Thanksgiving tradition for thousands of Central Texas families and we encourage all of them to keep that streak alive by joining us online this year."
"We're so glad that the Austin Empty Bowl Project has elected to continue their long fight against hunger by going virtual during these trying times," said Central Texas Food Bank Derrick Chubbs, President & CEO of the Central Texas Food Bank. "The pandemic has created unprecedented demand for our services and our resources are strained to the limit as we go into the high-need holiday season. We truly are stronger together, so please go online to support the Austin Empty Bowl Project if you're able."