Empty Bowls McKinney pulled out all the stops this year, and Thursday’s event brought out hundreds of people to support the fight against hunger through Community Lifeline Center.

This year’s fundraiser featured some new additions, as well as the tried-and-true. For the price of one $25 ticket, attendees were able to sample foods made by local chefs, and each person took home a handmade bowl featuring a card telling the story of a Lifeline beneficiary. Limited Edition Collection and auction bowls were also available for purchase. Bowls ranged from painted glass to ceramic and felted wool to knit.

This year also got the addition of celebrity artists Police Chief Greg Conley, Mayor Brian Loughmiller and Rev. Perry Mullins – made of course with a little help from the McKinney Art Studio and SPARC Pottery Studio.

Jamie St. Clair, outreach coordinator for St. Peter’s Episcopal Church, which started the event, said about 900 people came out for the event, raising $60,000 – a healthy jump from last year’s $47,000.

Empty Bowls provides funds to support CLC’s food pantry, as well as assistance for residents of McKinney and north Collin County who find themselves in short-term crisis situations. CLC aims to get them back on their feet through financial assistance for living and medical costs, job search training and budget counseling.

For locals looking to go beyond the annual fundraiser and get involved with CLC, there are plenty of opportunities available:

  • Volunteering – From serving in the Lifeline Market food pantry filling client orders to helping at the reception desk, volunteers help with the day-to-day task of helping get clients on their way to self-sufficiency.
  • Adopt-A-Shelf Program – The CLC food pantry runs on donations and low-cost food purchases. Local food banks and grocery stories have partnered with CLC to stock the shelves through monthly donations.
  • In-Kind Donations – Interested in starting a donation drive? Looking for a way to get the whole family involved in helping others? CLC accepts donations of food and household items. Needs are listed at communitylifeline.org/get-involved/current-needs
  • Looking to give a monetary gift to help support CLC programs and services? Donate at communitylifeline.org/donate.