By Sydney Hencil Anchor/Reporter, AccessWDUN

The Georgia Mountain Food Bank hosted its annual Empty Bowl luncheon on Tuesday at Lanier Technical College.

It was the first Empty Bowl Luncheon hosted in person since COVID-19.

“We are thankful.  My seven-year-old granddaughter said, ‘Meme, isn’t the Empty Bowl all about being thankful?’ and I said, ‘Yes, ma’am.’ That it exactly. So we’re just thrilled to be back together,”  Kay Blackstock, the executive director of Georgia Mountain Food Bank said.

Blackstock said the icing on the cake was seeing everything come together after gearing up for the event.

The luncheon started at 11:30 a.m. and ended with a live auction of celebrity-painted bowls hosted by Douglas Carter.  In total, the bowls alone raised $14,400.

According to Brooke Burt with Forum Communications, the money raised from the auction will go toward fighting hunger within the community.

“Every dollar that is donated to help with Empty Bowl, we are helping to provide five meals,” Burt said.

Gainesville native Tommy Aaron’s 1973 Masters celebrity bowl sold for $3,800, one of the highest sales during the auction.  He said he is honored to have his bowl auctioned off.

“I feel great. It’s my first time coming to this, and I was very impressed,” he said.

The Georgia Mountain Food Bank’s mission is to address hunger, health and quality of life by serving those in need. They provide a link between sources of food and hardworking community-based partner agencies that help get that food into the hands of families and individuals in need.