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Handcrafted Homeless Support: Empty Bowls Event Thursday

Our Daily Bread hosts sixth annual event supporting programs that provide food, financial assistance and financial education to struggling families.

Our Daily Bread hosts sixth annual event supporting programs that provide food, financial assistance and financial education to struggling families. Photo @odbfairfax on Facebook.
Our Daily Bread hosts sixth annual event supporting programs that provide food, financial assistance and financial education to struggling families. Photo @odbfairfax on Facebook.

Release, Our Daily Bread:

Fairfax-based non-profit Our Daily Bread (ODB) will hold its sixth annual Empty Bowls event on February 27, 2014 from 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at the Stacy C. Sherwood Community Center in Fairfax City (3740 Old Lee Highway) to support its programs to provide food, financial assistance and financial education to struggling families throughout the Fairfax County area.

Attendees will select a handcrafted bowl made by local artists, students and community members and enjoy soup and bread donated by local businesses as a reminder of those who are going hungry in our community. Admission is $30 per adult with advance registration at www.ODBFairfax.org or $35 at the door. Children are welcome, with admission fee of $10 per child or $25 for three or more children (hand-crafted bowl not included). The public is also invited to participate in a special raffle to win a four-day family getaway to Disney or the Kennedy Space Center. Raffle tickets are available on the event registration page, and attendance at the event is not required to win.

The evening will include live music by the Fairfax Saxophone Quartet, raffles, children’s activities and a silent auction that includes an Outer Banks beach house rental, a Wintergreen house rental, wine tastings, artwork by local artists, gift baskets, local restaurant and business gift cards and more. Sponsors, restaurants and bowl artists are listed below. ODB continues to seek sponsors and silent auction donations. More information on the event and sponsorship opportunities is available at 703-237-8829,info@ODBFairfax.org; and www.ODBFairfax.org.

Our Daily Bread assists hundreds of Fairfax County area residents every year. In 2013, the organization provided short-term food assistance to 309 families, emergency financial assistance to 333 families, and budget classes, free financial counseling and financial mentoring for 682 individuals and families. The non-profit also provided school supply assistance to 1,500 children in the Fairfax High School and J.E.B Stuart High School pyramids, and Thanksgiving and December holiday assistance to 3,467 families. ODB also offers Project BRIDGE, which combines all of the organization’s programs along with other community resources to work intensively with select clients for an extended period of time to help them achieve financial self-sufficiency. Many of the individuals and families who receive Our Daily Bread’s services are working, but are struggling to pay for housing, utilities, gas and food because of unemployment, reduced work hours, or health care or other crises.

“It takes an income of about $60,000 for a family of four to thrive in the Fairfax County area. Most of the clients we help only make about $22,000 per year,” said Our Daily Bread Executive Director Lisa Whetzel. “Here in one of the wealthiest areas in the nation, it is shocking that tens of thousands of people struggle with hunger and hardship on a daily basis. We are extremely concerned about what will happen to those who we must turn away for assistance because the need out there far outpaces our resources. We are trying to help as many families as possible stay in their homes and regain their financial footing, but we know we are only assisting a small fraction of those who could benefit from our services. We hope the community will come out in force at our Empty Bowls event to help us make a real difference for our neighbors in need.”

Empty Bowls is a nationally recognized grassroots program that is designed to help local organizations fight hunger, raise awareness about the issues of hunger and to help communities change attitudes so that hunger will no longer exist.

Our Daily Bread is celebrating its 30th year of providing assistance and a way forward for struggling individuals and families throughout the Fairfax County area. The organization relies on funding and volunteer support from the Fairfax community to provide supplemental food, financial assistance, financial mentoring and budget classes, an intensive Project BRIDGE program to foster long-term self-sufficiency, holiday assistance and back-to-school assistance. More information is available atwww.ODBFairfax.org.

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