By Michelle Frost

Montavilla Farmers Market is hosting the Empty Bowls soup and beer pairing fundraiser event on September 13, 5:30-8:30 pm, at Montavilla Brew Works, 7805 SE Stark St.

Three chefs, three soups, three beers (well, 2 beers + 1 cider) and one worthy cause: fighting hunger in Montavilla.

Each ticket includes soups and beers paired for tasting, local bread, a full pint, and a beautiful artisan bowl to take home. Vegan and gluten-free tickets are available. Sorry, children cannot be accommodated for this event.

This community’s schools have some of the highest food insecurity rates in Oregon. and Montavilla Farmers Market helps low-income families get more healthy food on their plates with its Double Up Food Bucks program. 100% of the profits for this event will go to the Double Up program.

Empty Bowls events are held all over the world to support anti-hunger efforts. The idea is to sell tickets to a simple but delicious meal, usually soup, and to put those profits toward increasing food security.

The bonus feature of an Empty Bowls event is that every guest brings home a ceramic bowl made by a local artisan. It’s meant to serve as a beautiful reminder that when we work together, we can feed our community to ensure nobody goes hungry.

Fundraising chair for Montavilla Farmers Market for the past two years Michelle McGrath, reports that in the last 2 – 3 years, the Market has drastically grown its ability to match food stamps up to $10 per shopper.

“That growth has been due to word-of-mouth increasing awareness of the service, and the generous support of grantors and the community. Last year we raised over $7,000 through an online crowdfunding campaign.

“This year we wanted to bring the fundraising efforts back to the community. The Empty Bowls framework felt like a great fit. Soups will all be made with ingredients from the farmers market,” McGrath explains.

Each ticket includes a full pint. A silent auction is on the program including such items as private wine tastings, cooking classes, and a gift certificate to Wild Craft Studios.

Only sixty tickets will be available and one-third of those are sold already. “We anticipate a rush of ticket sales the last week, but encourage people to buy their tickets before they sell out,” McGrath says.

“It’s a very limited but very special event and 100% of the profits are supporting our work to help local low-income families eat fresh, healthy food. Our community’s elementary schools have astronomically high rates of children on the free-and-reduced lunch program, a number that is often used to indicate food insecurity.”

Montavilla Brew Works will be setting its tables for this event. “We love that they are across the street, and they’ve been extremely supportive of the market. We feel like family,” McGrath says.

Other sponsors include The Redwood, Artfullbelly Chef Services, and ReStore.

ReStore and Empty Bowls go hand-in-hand says Martha Cerna, Marketing/Communications Manager, Habitat for Humanity/ReStore. “Habitat’s focus is on partnering with low-income families and others in the community to build simple, affordable, sustainable and SAFE housing.

“Homes are sold to qualified applicants at no profit. It’s a hand up, not a handout, we say, because homeowners repay their mortgage loans in affordable payments.”

The ReStore home improvement outlets accept new and used furniture, appliances and building materials, and sell them to raise money for Habitat for Humanity affiliates in Portland, Washington County and Clark County.”

The ReStore on Water Ave. has grown from a single-store operation to three stores in Portland, Beaverton and Vancouver. Plans are in the works to open a fourth ReStore in the Gresham area this winter.

All are welcome to enjoy the best of what Montavilla offers: healthy food, hearty drink, friendship and community assistance.

Come to the party and help fight hunger, a win-win for everyone! See tinyurl.com/h4y5w79 for ticket and reservation information.