Since 1988 The Brattleboro Area Drop In Center has provided food, shelter, and other essential resources to those in need, in Brattleboro and many surrounding towns. The recent death of the organization’s founder and director, Melinda Bussino, left many in the community reeling, though the Drop In Center’s vital services have continued uninterrupted.
The organization’s major fundraiser, the Empty Bowls dinner, will be dedicated to the memory of Melinda and her tireless efforts on behalf of those in need.
This year’s Empty Bowls Dinner will take place on Saturday, October 6, with two seatings at 5:00 and 6:30 p.m. in the dining hall at Landmark College in Putney. For a $25 donation, guests will be served a simple, nutritious meal of soup, bread, cheese, apples, beverage, and dessert, and will enjoy live music. Afterwards, guests are invited to keep the bowl from which they ate as a reminder of the many people who go hungry each day in our community and beyond.
Empty Bowls is made possible by dozens of volunteers ranging from ceramic artists who begin making bowls early in the summer, to high school students who help serve and clean up on the night of the dinner. Area businesses and restaurants– including the Brattlebor Food Co-op– contribute food, beverages, desserts, and supplies, and local professional musicians provide entertainment.
Empty Bowls is an annual, worldwide event that raises hunger awareness as well as funds to fight hunger. In Brattleboro, the dinner is sponsored by Brattleboro Clayworks (a potters' cooperative and ceramics resource center) and Landmark College, which hosts the dinner, as well as Brattleboro Savings and Loan, New Chapter, and The Trust Company of Vermont. All proceeds are donated to the Brattleboro Area Drop In Center.
The dramatic rise in food prices in recent months has meant that the Brattleboro Area Drop In Center has seen a tremendous increase in requests for food and other services. Over 7,100 individuals rely on the Drop In Center, and of these, many are working poor—people who are fully employed, but whose wages do not cover their basic living expenses. Half of all the people who are served by the Drop In Center are children and senior citizens. The Brattleboro Area Drop In Center also operates an overflow shelter in the winter at the First Baptist Church, in conjunction with Morningside Shelter.
How can you help? Your support of the Brattleboro Area Drop In Center and/or attendance at the ninth annual Empty Bowls Dinner will make a difference to the hungry in our community. Tickets are $25 and will be available for sale in August. Tickets can be reserved by calling 800 852-4286, ext. 108. Tickets will also be available at Everyone’s Books and The Shoe Tree in Brattleboro, and Offerings Jewelry in Putney.