It could happen to any of us. That’s what Sharon Spaulding said Sunday afternoon as she enjoyed a bowl of chili at the 4th annual edition of Empty Bowls and discussed how one event can quickly change a persons life.
“You never know when a tragic incident could happen to you or your family and then you are the one that needs help from a food pantry,” said Spaulding, of Wilton. Proceeds from Sunday’s event benefited the Wilton Food Pantry.
Spaulding commended the food pantry for the work it has done over the years to help local families in need.
“What they do is wonderful,” she said. “The least I can do is support their cause.”
Spaulding was among roughly 150 people who attended the event, which was held at the Saratoga-Wilton Elks Lodge. For a $20 fee, visitors received bowls handcrafted by students at Skidmore College that were filled with soup, chili and a piece of bread. Event-goers were also able to take the bowls home.
For $1, Katie Camarro, owner of Sundaes Best, a fudge shop in the town of Wilton, was selling bowls of ice cream topped with her orange hot fudge. She said she has long been a supporter of the food pantry and wanted to be a part of the event, which she claims has grown substantially over the last several years.
“This has become a really great event and being that I am a local shop I wanted to show that I support what they are doing,” she said, adding that she donated all of her proceeds to the pantry. “They feed so many local families and they do such great work.”
According to Connie Towers, vice president of the Wilton Food Pantry, an average of 307 Wilton families have already been served this year.
“This event is so great and the work that the students at Skidmore do is so wonderful,” she said.
Several members of a Wilton Boy Scout Troop 4024 were helping food pantry volunteers at the event, cleaning bowls and serving food to visitors. Scoutmaster of the troop, Dave Hoffman, said that he brought the teenagers to teach the importance of community service and helping their neighbors.
“It is important to teach the importance of respect and show young people to treat everyone with respect,” Hoffman said.
Don Wildermuth, of Wilton, said he felt compelled to attend the event and support the food pantry after seeing all the great work they do in his community.
“Since I have the resources to come and help an organization like this one — that does so much good in the area — I felt it was important to support them,” he said. “They are truly helping people who need it the most.”