Empty Bowls provides meal, knowledge of hunger issues

Those who attend Empty Bowls Middletown next month will leave with full bellies and an abundance of knowledge about the hunger struggles in the community.

Central Connections, 3907 Central Ave., is hosting Empty Bowls Middletown from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Nov. 18 in the banquet center.

For a $15 donation, attendees will be served a meal of soup, bread, dessert, and beverage, said Kathryn Wood, development director at Central Connections. They also will be given a handcrafted ceramic bowl to take home as a reminder of older adults in need in the community and will learn about hunger and food insecurity among older adults, Wood said.

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She pointed out the facts about hunger among older adults in Middletown and said they paint a portrait that deserves attention to decrease the food challenges older adults face daily. She said more than one in three older adults in Middletown face the threat of hunger; 55 percent of Middletown’s population lives in “food deserts,” primarily impacting older adults who no longer drive and live miles from a grocery store; 15.9 percent of Middletown’s population is older adults aged 60 and older; 39.9 percent of this older population have disabilities and require assistance with daily living, especially with meals and specialized transportation; and 28 percent of this population have an annual income of less than $15,000.

Wood said hunger in the elderly population is “a huge problem and becoming greater every year.”

Central Connections is the only congregate meal provider serving older adults in Middletown, Monroe, Madison Twp., Franklin, Trenton, Hunter and Liberty Twp., according to Wood.

The Empty Bowls Project, an international grassroots effort, raises money and awareness in the fight to end hunger. Empty Bowls Middletown is an initiative of Central Connections and United Way Greater Cincinnati, Middletown Area.

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Members of Central Connections’ Painting with Purpose classes, Women Enriching Lives, and community leaders at the United Way finale to be held at Miller Coors are painting the ceramic bowls. Head Start students are creating placemats for dining tables at the event. Local artists and community leaders from Middletown, Monroe, and Trenton will offer bowls for a silent auction.

All the proceeds from Empty Bowls Middletown will go toward feeding older adults in the Middletown community, benefiting Central Connections’ home delivered and congregate meal programs that provide more than 11,500 meals monthly to food-insecure older adults.

For more information about Empty Bowls Middletown, call Central Connections’ Welcome Center, 513-423-1734, visit www.Facebook/EmptyBowlsMiddletown or email

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