Empty Bowl fundraiser seeks to feed the CSRA hungry

By: Diane Cho
By: Diane Cho

You may not realize it, but you don't have to look at a third world country to find empty stomachs.

About 22 percent of our CSRA neighbors feel the effects of poverty every day.

As a part of the Empty Bowl Fundraiser, the Golden Harvest Food Bank partnered up with the Augusta Jewish Community Center to try to put an end to some of those left hungry.

News 12 looks at the case of “Ben”, a man who depends on the Food Bank.

He had a comfortable lifestyle, he's traveled all over the world, and he could even afford to take off work for half the year.

“But you know money's not everything, you don't have your health, you don't have anything.”

Unfortunately he had to that find out the hard way after he lost his job as a truck driver two years ago because of his high blood pressure.

“Diabetes, heart disease, because you don't exercise, just eat, sleep and drive.”

While he has a place to stay, “Ben” now finds himself wondering how he's going to eat on a daily basis…a situation he never imagined he would ever be in.

“It happens to the best of us.”

Too ashamed and embarrassed to reveal his identity because he says a lot of his friends don't know how bad it really is for him since he lost his job, “Ben” had to swallow his pride so he could ask for help at the Master's Table Soup Kitchen.

“I have no choice. For a lot of people asking for help is a huge step, having worked their whole life, and have never had to ask for help.”

He's just one of 240 people on average the Golden Harvest Soup Kitchen feeds everyday.

Part of those proceeds come from fundraisers like the annual Empty Bowl event: an all you can eat buffet that raised $6,000 last year for the food bank.

That's enough to feed about 40,000 empty stomachs.

“Without it a lot of us would have nothing to eat.”

Help for a man who lost his job because of health problems created by his job.

“Laughing, that's funny but it's life,” says “Ben”.

He still finds a way to keep his sense of humor while taking the time to appreciate the little things in life he once took for granted.

“Anybody, yeah, you just never know how blessed you are till it happens to you.”

The other half of Sunday’s proceeds will go to the Augusta Jewish Community Center, which has its own emergency food pantry.

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