Local students paint empty bowls to raise hunger awareness

You hear a lot about hunger and homelessness.

Unfortunately, you don't have to look very far to find them.

Horizons Social Services in Quincy has come up with a unique fund raiser to raise awareness about hunger in our area, while supporting its soup kitchen at the same time.

KHQA's Rajah Maples shows you how this fund raiser is changing lives one bowl at a time.

Sixth graders at Baldwin South are participating in Horizons Empty Bowls fund raiser. Students at Quincy Public Schools and Quincy Notre Dame will paint one thousand bowls that could end up in your hands come March.

Horizons Executive Director Sarah Stephens said, "We're having a simple meal of soup and bread, and then everyone gets to take home an empty bowl to remind them of all the individuals that do not have food. In 2011, we served over 22 thousand hot meals to some of the poorest and most disadvantaged citizens here in Quincy. The money raised through this fund raiser will go to help provide food for those individuals that we serve."

Stephens said a recent survey by Feeding America found that one in four children in Adams County live in food insecure homes. A reality that Stephens sees first-hand in Adams County.

She said, "It's very sad, especially to see the children. We're seeing a lot of grandparents come in when they're now raising their grandchildren, and you can sometimes see the helplessness in their face, kind of like a sense of desperation, like they don't know where to turn. There have been a lot of people who've been laid off who are taking cuts in hours. They're having to choose between paying for electricity or gas for their car or food, and that's where we're able to help out."

Stephens said any local artist who would like to join in Horizons empty bowl fund raiser can donate a hand-crafted bowl for the event.

HyVee and Titan International pitched in to donate the soup and bowls, respectively.

You also can help by sending food or monetary donations to Horizons at 701 Hampshire, Quincy, Illinois 62301.

The Empty Bowls fund raiser will take place March 18th from 11 to 2 p.m. at Quincy Senior High School.