78° F Saturday, June 24, 2017

Editor,

Our hearts are so full with thanks and admiration for the people of Bastrop County who participated in last Saturday’s Empty Bowl Project event at Bastrop High School.

This year’s event—our ninth annual—broke all records:

With almost 700 attendees, easily surpassing our previous record of just over 500.

With an all-time high of 21 restaurants and caterers serving up their best soups, chilis and stews…28 offerings in all.

With a record number of sponsors (36, close to three times our usual number).

That success is all the sweeter because the Bastrop Emergency Food Pantry and Support Center has been struggling to make ends meet. A slow economic recovery and the long-term effects of the 2011 fires have increased the number of individuals and families for whom pantry services are literally a lifeline. Increased ranks of those in need and a $50,000 decline in United Way funding have combined to put immense pressure on the pantry’s budgets and services.

The exceptional lift given by the public, by our wonderful volunteers and sponsors, by the participating restaurants, by talented musicians, by our panel of judges, by our dessert makers, by student potters and local artists, by our in-kind donors, by local newspapers and by our Facebook friends is both a financial and emotional one for the pantry.

The pantry board, our executive director Tresha Silva, and I are so grateful.

Tonda Owens

Board President

Bastrop Emergency Food Pantry and Support Center

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