BEATRICE - Businesses around Beatrice are chipping in to help hungry children in southeast Nebraska.

The 14th annual Beatrice Empty Bowls Luncheon took place on Wednesday at Vintage Venue in Beatrice. Patty Kauffman is an organizer for the event.

“The purpose of this event is to raise money for the Beatrice Backpack Program,” Kaufman said.  “It’s a program where we send home food filled backpacks every week to the 125 most needy families in our area. This is the event that pays for that.”

The program purchases food from the Lincoln food bank, using money from area businesses and restaurants that sponsor and participate.

“Those businesses give us $1,000 or more to run the event,” Kaufman said. “That’s where we get most of our money.”

Kaufman says having the event back to normal has brought everyone out to participate.

“We haven’t been able to have the event for several years… The last two years we had to cancel the event because of COVID.”

For Kaufman, and everyone involved in Empty Bowls, helping those in need is what it’s all about.

“That’s why it’s so easy to raise money for the event,” Kaufman said. “Because who doesn’t want to help feed hungry children.”