Matt Lasley | GC News-Gazette

Joanie, left, and Sydney Powell look over bowls during Monday's Empty Bowls event. Sydney was looking for the bowl she painted as a part of Troop 1630's paint party.
Matt Lasley | GC News-Gazette Joanie, left, and Sydney Powell look over bowls during Monday's Empty Bowls event. Sydney was looking for the bowl she painted as a part of Troop 1630's paint party.
The Grayson County Alliance hosted its fourth Empty Bowls food pantry fundraiser this week.

This year's event, held Monday night in the St. Joseph Catholic Church parish hall, saw the Alliance raise $5,670, thanks to the 125 meal tickets sold, 50 table sponsors, and 11 collaborations for soup, bread, and desserts.

261 bowls were painted and donated by community members - ranging in age from 6 to 95 years old - for the 2020 Grayson County Alliance Empty Bowls.

Attendees of Monday's event, in exchange for a $25 donation to the Alliance, received dinner and their choice of one of the decorated bowls. 

According to Grayson County Alliance Executive Director Debbie Childress, every $10 raised funds 27 meals for community members in need, so this year's total will permit the food pantry to serve 15,309 meals. 

Last month, the food pantry served 833 families, 42 of whom were either new or returning after an extended period away. 

"Everybody coming together is just an amazing thing," Childress said.

In addition to hosting this week's Empty Bowls fundraiser, the Grayson County Alliance is also offering free tax preparation for local residents whose total household income does not exceed $69,000 through its Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program.

This service is offered on Mondays throughout tax season from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the Alliance, and drop-offs, appointments, or walk-ins are all welcome.

The Alliance will also begin its Healthy Eating and Learning Program (HELP) in March.

This program will see the Alliance partner with Feeding America, the Grayson County Extension Office, and the Grayson County Health Department to host five educational classes on diabetes from March through July.

To participate, one must be either diabetic, pre-diabetic, or have someone in his or her household who is either diabetic or pre-diabetic. The Alliance is hoping to have 35 participants for this class series.

To sign up, call the Grayson County Alliance Food Pantry at 270-259-4000.