Empty Bowls Soup Nite brings huge benefit to Benzie County

20th annual Empty Bowls Soup Nite feeds hundreds in Benzie County

BENZIE COUNTY, Mich. (WPBN/WGTU) -- Last year, over 4,500 people in Benzie County relied on Benzie Food Partners food pantry for their next meal.

That came out to nearly 80,000 pounds of food distributed, which many families rely on.

“It’s unfortunately necessary in this day in age,” said Treasurer and Secretary of Benzie Food Partners Jeffie Lynch- Jones. "Even though the economy seems to have picked up in some areas, there's still a lot of people who are on fixed to low incomes, maybe working two jobs to make ends meet.”

Outside of regular donors, there is only one fundraiser each year that supports their efforts, and it's a big part of their budget.

“Right around 3-4 thousand dollars," said Lynch- Jones. "Which is a big plus to our budget.”

That fundraiser is the 20th annual Empty Bowls Soup Nite, which this year features 16 soups from 13 area restaurants, including Papa J’s in Honor.

"It’s a nice thing to be just apart of the community,” said Owner Debbie Hurd.

Hurd and her husband Ron are the owners of Papa J's, which will be offering their smoked sausage and cabbage soup. They have been donating to the fundraiser for years, and say it’s important to give back.

“Very important," Debbie said. "Our community supports us, we like to support them.”

With soups made by the community, served by the community, and supported by the community, Lynch- Jones says the fundraiser shows the true strength of Benzie County.

“The community of Benzie County is awesome," said Lynch- Jones. "They have supported us over the last 20 years and continue to support us.”

The 20th annual Soup Nite takes place Wednesday, October 11 from 4:00 p.m. until 6:30 p.m. at the Gathering Place, 10542 Main St, Honor, MI 49640I.

The cost is $8 for adults and $2.50 for kids 12 and under.

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