Monday, November 05, 2001

Filling a bowl to fill tummies

Event benefits low-income meal plan

By Cindy Kranz
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        COVINGTON — Sunday's benefit for Kids Cafe began with a wonderful dilemma: How to choose just one bowl from hundreds made by artisans of the Clay Alliance?

        For $18 a person, Kids Cafe supporters could select a bowl, have it filled with soup donated by area restaurants and take it home after eating.

  • 30,000 meals were served last year to children in low-income neighborhoods at seven area Kids Cafe sites — a 66 percent increase over the previous year.
  • 600 children attended local Kids Cafe sites each week and 1,500 kids attended at least one time last year.
  • Kids Cafe offers information about nutrition and personal hygiene, homework help, tutoring, sports and anti-drug and anti-violence programs.
  Source: FreeStore/FoodBank
        The Empty Bowls event is the largest fund-raiser for Kids Cafe, which provides nutritional meals to low-income children at seven sites in Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky. About 500 people were expected to attend the event at the Baker-Hunt Foundation in Covington.

        It was Lucinda Beckham's first visit to the third annual fund-raiser. “I got invited by a friend and knew it was a good cause and wanted to support it,” the Norwood woman said.

        She had a hard time selecting from the bowls donated by the Clay Alliance, a nonprofit organization of local potters.

        “There were so many good ones to choose from,” Ms. Beckham said. “It was fantastic to see all the artistry and talent. I think I changed bowls three times.”

        Last year, 30,000 meals were served to children from low-income neighborhoods at Kids Cafe sites. That's a 66 percent increase over the previous year.

        “The reason for the increase is there are more sites and there's more need,” said Mary Sehlhorst, coordinator of Kids Cafe, a program of the FreeStore/FoodBank. “The need is always there, but we're hitting more neighborhoods now.”

        Kids Cafe sites are located in Over-the-Rhine, Camp Washington, Millvale Recreation Center, Winton Place, Newport, Covington and Dayton, Ky.

        “We have so many neighborhoods that are lacking sites,” said Ms. Sehlhorst, who would like to see a Kids Cafe in Avondale, Walnut Hills, Madisonville, Lincoln Heights and East End. ""Our big hang-up now is we are at a standstill because of funding.”


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