• January 20, 2020

Fill the bowls in Odessa - Odessa American: Local News

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Fill the bowls in Odessa

Marriott site of this year’s Food Bank event

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Posted: Sunday, January 12, 2020 4:30 am

The community will get a chance to show its support for the West Texas Food Bank, have a nice lunch and get a keepsake bowl at the same time through the annual Empty Bowls event set for 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Jan. 26 at the Odessa Marriott & Conference Center, 305 E. Fifth St.

The cost is $15 and proceeds go toward the food bank, which serves 19 West Texas counties. Those attending will get a bowl they pick out themselves with soup provided by Sid Clark from Catfish & Co. and Jason’s Deli in Midland, plus something to drink, a “little dessert,” “incredible fellowship and the knowledge that every bowl you buy feeds 60 people,” said Chris Stanley, an organizer of the original event and associate professor of art at University of Texas Permian Basin.

The food bank’s service area includes 17 rural counties and many small communities, which make up a third of the population it serves with the Odessa-Midland area making up two-thirds, the agency website said. Stanley said potters from UTPB, Odessa College, Midland College, and this year, Texas Tech University, came together to make the bowls. Students from Reagan Magnet Elementary at the UTPB STEM Academy also helped make dessert bowls. STEM Academy students made 300 dessert bowls in two days, he said.

West Texas Food Bank Director of Marketing and Communications Craig Stoker said this is one of the agency’s favorite occasions of the year.

“It’s a great collaboration. It’s an easy way for just about anyone to come out and support the food bank and it’s accessible for families and really just anybody in the community that wants to come out,” Stoker said. “It brings together Midland and Odessa through the arts in support of the West Texas Food Bank in a way that not a whole lot of other things can. … We’re proud of those relationships. We’re celebrating the 20th anniversary of this happening, and again, it’s an easy one. It’s an easy one for people to understand and get behind and support.”

Stoker said there are a little more than 30,000 people that are food insecure in the Odessa-Midland area, according to Feeding America’s Map the Meal Gap numbers. But those figures also are a year behind because of the way the studies are conducted.

He said the Food 2 Kids program has distributed more backpacks than ever before; they’ve supplied more food to school pantries than ever before and the food bank is serving more meals through Kids Café than ever.

Odessa, TX

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