Empty Bowls staff working to end food insecurity

Food insecurity is a big problem in Monongalia county. Officials with the Empty Bowls Monongalia organization work to end hunger.

MONONGALIA COUNTY, W.Va. (WDTV)-- The Empty Bowls Monongalia organization formed into a nationwide movement all to end food insecurity.

"You use arts in order to bring awareness of food insecurity and that's where our annual luncheon comes from," said Empty Bowls executive director Zackery Cruze.

The organizations soup and bread luncheon provides a hand-made bowl made from students and community partners.

One ticket gives clients unlimited soup and bread. The money raised benefits local agencies through Empty Bowls.

"15% of Mon county residents are food insecure and 2,200 of our Mon county school kids are also food insecure," Cruze said.

Along with the luncheon, Cruze says the program works to educate community members to fight hunger.

"We can stop it to the point where I wont have a job at empty bowls and that is my goal,' Cruze said.

Cruze works with kids in the school system to talk about hunger issues. He has them draw pictures of what the community would look like if no one were hungry. Those kids will draw people in mansions.

"For the kids in our county, the thought of having enough food to eat isn't that were making a basic income and we can afford food," Cruze said. "It's the people that are able to afford food are the ones who live in mansions, that's heartbreaking to me."

Cruze says there will be more need for food in the county this year. He hopes the event will help fight those issues.

"Our neighbors shouldn't be hungry."