A Message from Trisha Cunningham

Trisha Outside High Res

Thank you for joining the North Texas Food Bank for our 24th annual Empty Bowls fundraiser, presented by Kroger! We are thrilled to gather with you at the Perot Family Campus and to raise crucial funds to support our mission of closing the hunger gap in North Texas.

The name of tonight’s event, “Empty Bowls,” is meant to not only give you the chance to enjoy tasty, bowl-friendly fare from some of the area’s top chefs, but to also provide you an opportunity to reflect. Sadly, we know that too many of our neighbors don’t have access to nutritious meals with which to fill their bowls and plates.

Texas is the second-most food-insecure state in the nation, according to the USDA, and the 13-county area served by the NTFB has the fourth-highest level of food insecurity in the country. Around 640,000 of our neighbors do not know where their next meal will come from, including one in six children. That is enough people to fill Globe Life Stadium where the Rangers play 16 times. That is unacceptable.

And the demand for food assistance only continues to grow. Sustained higher costs for everything from housing to groceries mean more families are seeking assistance than even at the height of the pandemic.

Thanks to support from generous donors like you, we are able to meet that need and distribute around 400,000 meals a day through our Feeding Network of 500 food pantries and community organizations that serve our neighbors facing hunger in the communities where they live.

Tonight, I’d like to give a special thanks to our presenting sponsor, Kroger. Kroger has been a vital partner of the Food Bank since its founding and in Fiscal Year 2023 Kroger gave more than 5.5 million pounds of food. Thank you for partnering with us and for consistently believing in our mission and work.

To each of the participating restaurants and chefs, thank you! Tonight would not be the fun event that it is without your time and dedication. A special thanks to Executive Chef Dan Landsberg, of The Texas Barn at Circle T Ranch, for stepping up as our celebrity chef. Other participating restaurants include Asian Mint, Bread Zeppelin, Celebration Restaurant, Chef Dnoir Cajun Cuisine LLC, Empire Baking Co., Lockhart Smokehouse, Mozzarella Co., Norma’s Café, Parigi, Pelican Lodge, Red Stix and Chef Uno Immanivong, Shake Shack, Taverna Rossa, True Food Kitchen and Union Bear.

Special thanks to our beverage supporters: Ben E. Keith and GrantThornton.

New this year, we’re hosting a raffle where you’ll have the chance to win one of 13 fabulous prizes. Don’t forget to purchase tickets before the drawing later this evening.

We also couldn’t have the Empty Bowls event without all of the beautifully handcrafted bowls that you see here. Thank you to David Cramer and all of the potters represented by Trinity Ceramics. David took on this event from the founders of Trinity Ceramics, John and Darlene Williams, and we are beyond grateful for his commitment to continuing the tradition of working with dozens of artisans to create so many gorgeous pieces.

Along with Kroger, I also want to give a heartfelt thanks to each of our other sponsors, including Ambit Energy, Ewing Buick GMC, McLane, Pollock Orora, 4Change Energy, GrantThornton, Verizon, Apexon, Betsy & Mark Kleinman, Equity Health, Lineage, Susan & Trey Bize, Alpha Graphics, Ben E. Keith Co., Dallas Area Woodturners, Play Dirty, and our mission sponsors HungerMitao, Nihao and SinHambre.

Thank you again for being here tonight! It’s because of you that we’re able to provide Food for Today and Hope for Tomorrow.

Gratefully,

Trisha Cunningham

President & CEO

North Texas Food Bank