Missoula Food Bank to Reflect on 2020 at Annual Advocacy Event

Missoula Food Bank & Community Center’s annual advocacy event, Empty Bowls, Full Souls, will take place the evening of June 16th at Paddlehead Stadium. This event is an opportunity to learn more about food insecurity during the COVID-19 pandemic, and to hear from local families about their journeys in the past year.

“Empty Bowls has always been an event about the issue of hunger being a negative outcome of systemic, upstream issues,” notes Jessica Allred, director of development and advocacy. “The pandemic has exacerbated pressures that existed in our community before, and this event is about relating those larger issues to the homes and lives of our neighbors who are struggling to keep food on the table.”

Featuring speakers who come from lived-experience of food insecurity, event guests are served a simple meal and are also able to choose from hundreds of ceramic bowls, hand-crafted by artists through the Clay Studio of Missoula and the Helena Clay Project. These bowls serve as a reminder that food is a basic right of every person, and that there is widespread food insecurity in our community.

Food Bank leadership will also take time to reflect on services throughout 2020, telling a full story by including the ways that Federal Relief funds impacted families and the issue of food security locally.

Voicing support for relief measures, executive director, Aaron Brock, notes, “As part of relief funding, families have seen assistance like direct stimulus payments, some are able to access rental assistance, and currently families are receiving an increase of 15% in their SNAP benefits. These measures are successful in mitigating the occurrences of hunger in communities, and we want to share how our statistics reflect those successes.”

Tickets remain available for this socially-distanced, outdoor event, and can be purchased at www.missoulafoodbank.org. There is a remote rainy-day plan, in case of inclement weather.

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Missoula Food Bank & Community Center leads the movement to end hunger through advocacy, volunteerism, and healthy food for all. In 2020, 1 in 4 people who live in Missoula County visited our food bank for nutrition assistance. MFB&CC is a nonpartisan, anti-racist, LGBTQ2S+ ally organization. Together with our volunteers, donors, and partners, we nourish community.

June 7, 2021

Contact:

Aaron Brock, Executive Director aaron@missoulafoodbank.org 406-549-0543
Jessica Allred, Director of Development & Advocacy jessica@missoulafoodbank.org 406-529-0543

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