SHREVEPORT, LA (KSLA) - A night of arts and crafts seems like a world away from the stark reality of hunger in northwest Louisiana. But an event this Thursday night was all part of a major fundraiser by the food bank.
The ultimate goal of the community bowl painting party is to help ease the huge problem of 'food insecurity' here at home.
And this painting party, hosted by the Broadmoor United Methodist Church in Shreveport, had no shortage of people donating $20 per bowl, to show off their artistic talents.
That included Penley Zika and her dad Simon. Actually, he told us his daughter wanted to volunteer and paint.
"I really like helping and painting," said Penley.
Once the Foodbank has the bowls fired and glazed they'll be used at a big fundraising dinner for guests to take home that night.
"The bowl represents actually the empty bowls that are in our community," explained Martha Marak.
She is the longtime executive director for the Food Bank of Northwest Louisiana and told us there are simply way too many empty bowls in our area.
"In northwest Louisiana 1 in 5 individuals lives in poverty and faces hunger every day."
Marak added that the phrase 'every dollar counts' is by no means an exaggeration with their fundraising efforts.
"For every dollar that we generate as a donation the food bank can provide 10 dollars worth of food to the community."
Mark revealed that a lot of that is produce bought directly from local farmers.
Painters like Daisy Williams told us they're just glad to do their part to fight hunger.
"That's why we try to get out in the community and do some, you know, help out and stuff."
Organizers hoped to have 75 of the bowls painted from this event.
Overall, the Empty Bowls program is the biggest fundraiser of the year for the food bank.
They hope to raise a total of $100 thousand before it's all over, which Marak explained will translate into half a million meals.
In all, the food bank hopes to have 300 of the bowls ready for the Empty Bowls Dinner and silent auction at the El Dorado Casino and Hotel in Downtown Shreveport on June 6.