Empty Bowl Project raises funds for Bean's Cafe during time of need

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ANCHORAGE (KTUU) - Hundreds of people packed Anchorage's Dena'ina Civic and Convention Center Saturday for Bean's Cafe's largest fundraiser of the year.

This is the 23rd year of the Empty Bowl Project, an event where attendees get unlimited homemade soup and a handcrafted bowl donated by local artists.

"We raise well over $100,000 every year through this effort," said Lisa Sauder, executive director of Bean's Cafe. "It's really important to us especially in this declining economic condition that we are in right now."

About 1,300 bowls were donated by local artists and the number grows every year.

Thanks to event sponsors, 100 percent of the proceeds from the event go toward helping people in need.

According to Sauder, Bean's needs all the support it can get this year because donations are down, especially through Pick. Click. Give.

Additionally, more people are using Bean's Cafe's services including for the first time ever, 75 men being housed overnight in an emergency cold weather shelter.

Attendees at the event today said that it's important to support local nonprofits, especially those that help people in need.