EAST LIVERPOOL – Heritage Thermal Services is sponsoring the inaugural Hungry Bowls to benefit the United Way and help hungry neighbors.
The Hungry Bowls is a joint effort between one business, Heritage Thermal Services, and two agencies, the United Way and the Salvation, to raise funds to combat local food insecurity issues.
The event will be held on Nov. 17 from 4 to 6:30 p.m. at the Salvation Army, 413 E. Fourth St., East Liverpool.
According to Raymond Wayne, public affairs specialist at Heritage, Hungry Bowls is the result of wanting to do something different to help with the hunger issues faced by local residents.
Wayne noted that for the past few years, Heritage has submitted food donations collected from their employees to be donated to United Way for distribution to local food pantries.
Wayne said that since a lot of other businesses were doing the same thing, he wanted to try something different and started kicking around the idea of a soup kitchen, because folks with food insecurities and those that are homeless go to soup kitchens for their meals.
Wayne did some research and looked at the Columbiana County Health Assessment Report to find facts relating to the hunger issues in East Liverpool.
Citing the report, Wayne said that in 2019, 16% of the county’s population experienced at least one issue related to food insecurity.
The question asking if residents ever cut, size or skip meals because of not enough money or food indicated that on a county wide level 7.9% of the respondents had an issue. In East Liverpool it was 10%.
The report noted that East Liverpool residents said the two or three most important issues that need to be addressed to improve health and the quality of life in East Liverpool were housing security as number one, food insecurity as number two and drugs and substance abuse was the third issue.
Based off of this, Wayne decided that Heritage would sponsor the Hungry Bowl Soup Kitchen, where for a $10 ticket, attendees will have the opportunity to select from approximately a dozen different soups, and get bread, crackers, a cookie and a bottle of water. Wayne noted this is basically a menu at a soup kitchen.
The soups will all be homemade and prepared by the board members at United Way.
In addition to the $10 ticket purchase, attendees are being asked to bring a non-perishable food item.
The event will also feature a Chinese Auction to help raise additional funds. All proceeds will go to benefit the three local food pantries in the United Way portfolio.
The Fiesta Ware Company will be donating 200 fiesta bowls to the event. So, the first 200 people to attend will go home with a fiesta bowl.
Save-a-Lot of Wellsville donated crackers, cookies and water for the event, and East Liverpool high school teacher Greg Harding will be providing ambient music for the event.
Tickets are on sale at the United Way office. Tickets can be purchased and donated to the Salvation Army who can designate somebody in need to go as well.
Candy Faloon, director of United Way of Southern Columbiana County, noted that she is in her office every day and has been heartbroken in the past few months by the number of people who call her or come by her office to say they need food.
Faloon said that probably 60% of the calls she receives or from people in need of food.
“I just want to let you know this economy and the inflation, how it really truly is affecting the people that just don’t have as much as everybody else,” Faloon said. “You think everybody is ok but they are really not.”