14th Annual Lundin Kudo Empty Bowls Project kicks off with tour at Treasure Coast Food Bank

Chef Daniel Leavy of Healthy Harvest Catering, May Wong, Cheryl Ritland, Carolyn Smith, Diane Ayres, and Lundin Kudo Committee Chair Joan Hooks. (Contributed, Treasure Coast Food Bank.) 

The Lundin Kudo Empty Bowls committee kicked off preparations for their annual fundraiser with a tour of Treasure Coast Food Bank’s food production kitchen – an up-close look at the work to fight hunger that the event supports.

The 14th Annual Lundin Kudo Empty Bowls Project will be held on Sunday, Feb. 23, 2020, from 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Women’s Club of Stuart, 729 East Ocean Blvd.

“We just think Treasure Coast Food Bank does an amazing job,” said Committee member Carolyn Smith. “It’s grown, the event has grown, and the need, unfortunately, has grown. This was a great kick-starter, and gives us so much information to share about the programs.”

Committee members watched Treasure Coast Food Bank’s staff prepare fresh produce for healthy meals through its wash/chop/packaging system and its cook/vacuum-packing system. Both extend the shelf life of fresh produce to make it available to more people who otherwise wouldn’t have access to fresh, nutritious produce. They also saw the huge cooking kettles that enable Treasure Coast Food Bank to produce large quantities of foods, such as the soups served each year during the Empty Bowls event.

 Treasure Coast Food Bank’s own Healthy Harvest Catering will be one of the soup providers at this year’s event. Others generously providing soup are Chef’s Table of Stuart, Conchy Joe’s Seafood, Dolphin Bar & Shrimp House, East Ocean Bistro, Ellie’s Downtown Deli, Kazu, Osceola Street Café, Stuart Boathouse, Talkhouse, and The Gafford.

That day, guests can enjoy a serving of savory soup and locally baked bread served in hand-crafted bowls created by noted local artists. They keep the  bowl of their choice in exchange for a $20 donation. All proceeds benefit Treasure Coast Food Bank and Mary’s Kitchen.

The Lundin Kudo Empty Bowls event honors the late ceramic artist Lundin Kudo. The event also features the Mae Slaton Auction of Exceptional “Souper” Bowls. It’s a community event with many partners who donate their time and talent, Smith said.

“People do not realize how much need there is right here in Martin County,” she said. “It really is a community effort. The Woman’s Club donates the space. The artists donate their time, and the restaurants donate their soup. It’s just a labor of love.”

Special thanks also goes to The Woman’s Club of Stuart, Clay Habit Studio, Gail McCarthy Studio, Lighthouse ArtCenter Gallery and School of Art, OldMoonClay.com, 3D Potter, Inc., and Publix Super Markets.

For more information about the event, visit stophunger.org/event/lundin-kudo-empty-bowls-2020/.

ABOUT TREASURE COAST FOOD BANK

Treasure Coast Food Bank is the only food bank and largest hunger relief organization on Florida’s Treasure Coast, providing the community each year with millions of meals valued at more than $50 million through robust programs and in partnership with 400 charitable organizations in Indian River, St. Lucie, Martin, and Okeechobee counties. In addition to emergency food distribution, Treasure Coast Food Bank operates a full roster of direct service programs that not only solve the immediate problem of hunger, but help individuals and families gain long-term food security, better health outcomes, and self-sufficiency. Treasure Coast Food Bank is a member of Feeding America, the nationwide network of 200 food banks that leads the fight against hunger in the United States. For more information on Treasure Coast Food Bank, call 772.489.3034, log on to stophunger.org, visit our Facebook page at facebook.com/tcfoodbank, or follow us on Twitter at twitter.com/tcfoodbank.

At the 2019 Lundin Kudo Empty Bowls event, Janice Minshew and Cecelia Serra select bowls (photo credit Maryann Ketcham)