Associated Bank colleagues from the Eau Claire branch recently volunteered their time for Feed My People Food Bank held at the 16th annual Empty Bowls lunch.

Empty Bowls is a non-profit organization that supports the international effort to raise both money and awareness in the fight to end hunger. They work with volunteers to develop exciting and powerful models and create positive and lasting change in the community.

Feed My People Food Bank partners with over 125 hunger relief agencies in 14 counties located in West Central Wisconsin, supplying food to nearly 70,000 residents who are food insecure.

During the event, Associated Bank colleagues served a record amount of soup to support local hunger-prevention efforts. More than 2,300 people attended the event to eat soup, bread and dessert prepared by several different area restaurants. Students and local artists also donated hand-crafted bowls that could be bought at the event.

“Volunteering for this event and organization is near and dear to my heart, as I started out the first four years of my life hungry,” said Gretchen Hudacek, Chippewa Valley community market president. “The fact that my colleagues and I can give back to such a great cause is wonderful.”

“It is just a special feeling to know that this many people support the community,” said Emily Moore, Feed My People Food Bank’s executive director. “We had hundreds of people volunteering, and all of the food, in addition to 1,700 bowls, was donated.”

A total of $67,000 was raised at the event, exceeding the goal by $17,000.

Photo caption: Tesha Knudtson, Sue Mohr and Erin Perzichilli of Associated Bank getting ready for the hungry crowd.