The 10th Anniversary Empty Bowl Lunch saw another record-breaking year. Thanks to you the event raised enough money to help provide more than 673,000 meals to those struggling with hunger throughout Hall, Lumpkin, Union, Dawson and Forsyth counties.
Over the last decade through a network for 74 partner agencies, more than 50,000 volunteers and over 20,000 donors, GMFB has been able to provide more than 33 million meals to those in need. Most recently, the Food Bank’s commitment to serving low-income patients with diabetes, heart failure and cancer led to the launch of the Prescriptive Food Box program. In as little as two years, the program has resulted in lowered A1C levels, BMI and weight-loss for its participants. Through community partnerships with Good News Clinic, Longstreet Clinic and Northeast Georgia Diagnostic Clinic the effort will continue as an ongoing program of the Food Bank.
This year also featured the selection of “The Mike Banks Reflections of the Heart” award in memory of philanthropist and friend of GMFB, Mike Banks of Gainesville. This legacy award is a part of Empty Bowl each year and is given to an individual whose contributions to GMFB truly reflect “the heart of a giver” in the same way that Mike Banks lived his life. This year’s recipient of “The Mike Banks Reflections of the Heart” award was Richard Riley.
Riley has passionately served and advocated for the Food Bank for more than six years. In addition to providing board leadership and serving on various committees, Riley has been a boots on the ground volunteer with a servant’s heart.
Other awards presented were to the corporate volunteer of the year Whelchel, Dunlap, Jarrard and Walker and volunteer of the year Jan Ritter.