Thursday, August 6, 2020
Community Fills Empty Bowls for Hunger
Nordic skiers Annie Pokorny and Sloan Storey started fueling for the Boulder Mountain Tour at Sunday’s Empty Bowls.
Monday, January 21, 2019


You might say Sloan Storey began carbo-loading Sunday.

The former University of Utah Nordic team captain took advantage of The Hunger Coalition’s annual Empty Bowls to fill a handmade bowl with soup, salad and bread as part of her preparation for the 32-kilometer Boulder Mountain Tour on Feb. 2.

Storey doesn’t need any extra ummph for the race, having captured third place two years ago. But she is giving her participation in the race extra meaning by using it as a platform to benefit The Hunger Coalition.

The Red Hatters were out in full force for the fourth year in a row. They included Poo Wright-Pulliam, Sharon Haugen, Judy Wampler, Renae Spaulding, Judy Kilidare, Jill Hitchin, Judy Fox and Judy Kildare.

Storey hopes to raise $5,000 in donations from her participation in the race. Just a donation of $1 for each of the 32 kilometers she plans to complete will provide $32 to fuel a family of three for a day (

Storey, who was born and raised in the Wood River Valley, works with the Hunger Coalition’s children’s program, packing lunches of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, hard-boiled eggs,  watermelon slices, snap peas and milk for the Bloom Truck that takes food, books and arts and crafts like building soda bottle rockets up and down the valley during summer.

The truck has been besieged by as many as 40 kids at some stops.

“Living in the bubble of Blaine County in my privileged world I had no idea about the struggle some have to put food on the table. There’s a stigma—no one talks about it,” said Storey who studied health education and nutrition in college. “I thought maybe I could take this race to do something about it—I love my Nordic community and the Nordic community is generous.”

Leslie Trombold, who has helped distribute food to Hunger Coalition clients for four years, helps Jane Dettwiler select just the right bowl.

About 300 people turned out Sunday afternoon for Empty Bowls, the local version of an international event designed to spread awareness of hunger and raise money for The Hunger Coalition.

They pored over 400 bowls that had been created, fired and painted by community groups at Boulder Mountain Clayworks, leading Mike Bernardi to note that “people are in a quandary over too many beautiful choices.”

Artist Deanne Schrell studied dozens before picking the “perfect soup bowl.”

“It’s lightweight and thin. And it’s high so I won’t spill my soup,” she said. “I’ll add this to last year’s bowl so I can share my soup with someone.”

Eight-year-old Ginger Spence selects a beautiful little bowl for her brother.

Bowl in hand, Schrell headed to the food line, filling her bowl with lettuce, pasta and potato salads provided by such restaurants as 7 Fuego in Bellevue. Then she chose from an array of soups donated by local restaurants—among them, CK’s Red Curry Winter Veggie, Warfield Distillery’s Butternut Squash and Apple Soup and NorishMe’s Indian Spiced Lentil with Coconut and Spinach.

Vita and Burke Smith, who used to work at Enoteca, just opened their new Cookbook restaurant serving up soup, pizza and pasta at 271 7th Street East in Ketchum near Sawtooth Brewery. But that didn’t stop them from carting a huge pot of Roasted Veggie Soup to the Church of the Big Wood for the eat-in.

Sally Wisely, who divides her time between Sun Valley and Albuquerque, was quick to snap up Rasberry’s Green Chile Posole since everything from chili dogs to ice cream is covered in green chilies in Albuquerque.

“Great cause. Great community event,” she said as she finished up, preparing to head out for a Nordic ski.

Jamie Bennett, a potter who recently moved to the valley from Pennsylvania by way of Arizona celebrates Leslie Trombold’s raffle prize—a soup tureen and bread bowl created by the late Susan Ward, who founded Boulder Mountain Clayworks. With her are Jane Dettwiler and Diane Walker of Boulder Mountain Clayworks.

Hunger Coalition Director Jeanne Liston said the organization fed 3,900 people—19 percent of the community--last year. It set new records for the number of clients it helped 10 out of 12 months.

And the organization is bracing itself to help those who may find themselves struggling to pay the grocery bills after four weeks of the government shutdown.

“I think we’re getting a lot of people who are coming to work here, not understanding how expensive it is,” she said. “And with the lack of affordable housing, they get turned upside down pretty quickly.”


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