Empty Bowls Event

On this Christmas Day we celebrate the ministries of the church that have “filled the hungry with good things” (Luke 1:53). The Bidwell Riverside Center in Des Moines raised more than $30,000 in a fundraising event on November 2nd to reduce food insecurity among the people of central Iowa. Nearly 170 attendees enjoyed live music from the Nella Thomas Band and selected a unique handmade bowl to take home and remind them to find ways to fill the bowls of others every day.


United Methodist Women’s groups across the state donated bowls, promoted the event, and attended that evening. Additonal sponsors of the event included UnityPoint Health Des Moines, Duncan and Pam Gallagher, Bankers Trust, and Casey’s General Store.

The Polk County Board of Supervisors and their work for The Partnership for a Hunger-Free Polk County was honored as the community partner of the year that evening. In addition, Arlina Pearce, was honored for her hours of commitment to Bidwell and her regular donations of toiletries to stock the shelves.

Bidwell Riverside most recently received a $42,500 grant from the Iowa Board of Global Ministry in support of their ministries to break the cycle of poverty among families in need. The funds were made available from the apportionment gifts of United Methodist churches across the state.


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