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Vancouver fundraiser Project Empty Bowl provides meals for those in need

Photo A Loving Spoonful Vancouver-based charity A Loving Spoonful is raising money to help provide meals for people living with HIV/AIDS and other co-existing illnesses.
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 Photo A Loving SpoonfulPhoto A Loving Spoonful

Vancouver-based charity A Loving Spoonful is raising money to help provide meals for people living with HIV/AIDS and other co-existing illnesses.

 Photo A Loving SpoonfulPhoto A Loving Spoonful

The organization's 16th annual Project Empty Bowl brings together potters from over B.C. to create and donate 400 one-of-a-kind bowls to the event.

Guests take their bowl to different food stations at a the Coast Coal Harbour Hotel offering various cheeses, meats, tuna tartare, butter chicken, gourmet mac and cheese and rum flambeed spiced apples for dessert.

At the end of the night the bowl is cleaned and "people get to take that bowl home as a reminder that nobody's bowl should ever be empty," says Lisa Martella, executive director of A Loving Spoonful.

Proceeds support A Loving Spoonful's programs including its daily meals program, which is overseen by a dietician to ensure meals are appropriate for people living with HIV/AIDS. Volunteer drivers deliver meals every week to about 350 people in Metro Vancouver for a total of about 100,000 meals per year.

"A lot of the folks that we serve have serious mobility issues. They are not able to access and face barriers to food security. They might not have a family or social network around them that can help them out. They rely on our services," says Martella.

She says their organization relies on fundraising for 80 per cent of their budget and these events are critical to their ability to continue providing free meals to those in need.

There are 125 items donated to the silent auction this year and 16 for the live auction including signed serigraph by award-winning artist Susan Point, a painting by Jeff Wilson and Kristofir Dean.

Project Empty Bowl is held at the Coast Coal Harbour Hotel, 1180 West Hastings Street on Thursday, June 21. Tickets are $100 and are available online.

A Loving Spoonful is also accepting online donations for those who are not able to make it to the event.