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Hundreds attend Empty Bowls event (Photo: Kirsten Gutierrez/WWAY)

SOUTHPORT, NC (WWAY) — An event in Southport focused on feeding the hungry also helped out local artists. The town hosted Empty Bowls, a creative way to help those in need, Tuesday afternoon.

“There’s more hungry people than we really realize,” First time attending event, Alice Neitzey said.

The Associated Artists of Southport, dozens of volunteers, and local businesses all made the event possible.

“We have 21 restaurants that have donated soup, we have over 1,200 beautiful handcrafted bowls that have been made by our potters,” 2017 Empty Bowls Chair, Mary Beth Johnson said.

This is the fourth time the town has hosted Empty Bowls.

“Because it’s our gratitude. We’re grateful for our talents, we’re grateful for where we live, we’re grateful for this beautiful community,” Johnson said.

More than 700 people got the chance to enjoy a good meal, music, and unique artwork all in an effort to help others.

“This is to raise money for the food pantry, so no one has an empty bowl, ” Johnson said. “And that is the significance behind us making the bowls and us selling the bowls. So people are always reminded there are people out there who go to bed hungry at night.”

Proceeds from the event will be donated to Southport-Oak Island Interfaith Food Pantry, Matthews Ministry, and Brunswick Family Assistance.

Empty Bowls was founded in Michigan 26 years ago.

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