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CHAMPAIGN — After more than two years, the Champaign-Urbana Empty Bowls fundraiser is finally returning next week.

Last held in spring 2019, the event and raffle benefits Daily Bread Soup Kitchen.

It will be from 3 to 5:30 p.m. Oct. 6 at Silvercreek Restaurant, 402 N. Race St., U.

The cost of admission — $25 for adults and $10 for kids 10 and younger — will cover a handcrafted bowl designed by local potters and a simple meal of gourmet soup and bread.

There will also be a raffle of donated ceramic pieces and gift cards to local businesses.

Daily Bread volunteer Karen Pickard said the soup kitchen has continued to feed hundreds of hungry people through the pandemic, even though its dining room at 116 N. First St., C, has been closed.

On a daily basis, volunteers have been handing out more than 200 to-go hot lunches plus sack dinners for later to people who line up outside.

Pickard said Daily Bread has seen its number of clients rising lately, possibly because supplemental $300 weekly unemployment benefits ended earlier this month.

And because many public drinking fountains have been turned off during the pandemic, Daily Bread has also been supplying more than 200 bottles of water a day. Since the dining room was closed, well over 60,000 bottles of water have been given out, Pickard said.

The soup kitchen operates from the generosity of the community, she said. Expenses are covered by donations and the sole annual fundraiser.

Pickard and fellow volunteers are hoping to hold this year’s Empty Bowls event outdoors.

Admission can be paid by cash or check only at the door.

— Debra Pressey

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