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Two grants assist Empty Bowls Monongalia

MORGANTOWN — Empty Bowls Monongalia received major grants from the Milan Puskar Foundation and from Dominion Energy.

Empty Bowls has been providing funding for feeding programs throughout Monongalia County since 2007 and has raised over $1 million during that time.

The Milan Puskar Foundation granted Empty Bowls $50,000 to provide support for feeding programs addressing food insecurity of children. This is the largest single grant Empty Bowls has ever received. The Milan Puskar Foundation’s mission is to improve the quality of life in West Virginia.

Empty Bowls has long recognized that hungry children have difficulty learning and that, in order for them to meet their potential, their need to receive regular nutritious meals is vital.

“We are honored to partner with the Milan Puskar Foundation. Their support will have a significant positive impact on the feeding programs within our county that target children,” EBM President Al Prichard said. “Empty Bowls will be able to increase its support to the backpack programs as well as food pantries during this year’s funding allocations. This funding, also, will enable Empty Bowls to provide emergency grants if needed.”

Dominion Energy’s grant of $10,000 to Empty Bowls Monongalia is becoming a tradition, serving as the kickoff grant contributing to the annual Soup and Bread Luncheon fundraising event held each February at Mylan Park. The luncheon, held annually for the past 14 years, is the most visible of the year-long efforts to raise funds for the two dozen feeding programs in Monongalia County.

Plans for this year’s luncheon have been significantly modified due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Instead of the usual sit-down luncheon event that typically draws up to 2,000 patrons, Empty Bowls will host a drive-through event Feb. 27. Patrons will be able to pick up soup-to-go after selecting the type of soup or soups they would like.

The need to support the county’s feeding programs never ends and has only increased this past year due to the impact of the pandemic. Empty Bowls Monongalia, with partners such as the Milan Puskar Foundation and Dominion Energy, reach out to all in Monongalia County to help continue the efforts to address food insecurity, which will effect up to 16% of county residents this year.

For more information, contact Brian Diller, executive director of Empty Bowls Monongalia, 304-241-5510;; or 7 Rousch Drive, Westover, WV 26501.

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