O’Fallon community fills bowls of soup on Ash Wednesday

By: Kate Crutcher

O’FALLON – For the past nine years, members from the O’Fallon community have attended a charitable luncheon on Ash Wednesday and today was no different. 

The Empty Bowl Luncheon, sponsored by the O’Fallon Woman’s Club, took place Wednesday, March 6 at Gateway Classic Cars and also HSHS St. Elizabeth’s Hospital. 

The event was started in Michigan about two decades ago when teachers noticed that a lot of their students could not afford to buy lunch. Teachers then came up with the idea to provide lunches for students on Ash Wednesday, which would consist of a bowl of soup, a piece of bread and a glass of water. 

Today, communities all over the United States hold this luncheon to carry on the tradition. In O’Fallon, the meal costs $10 and all donations go to the O’Fallon Food Pantry. 

“What it means to the city of O’Fallon, is that we are able to pay — we give the food pantry enough money to pay for the items that they need and the cost that it takes them to run it, for one month,” Jan Todd, a member of the O’Fallon Woman’s Club said. 

The luncheon on Wednesday had soups from wild mushroom soup to curry veggie chili to strawberry soup. Before community members left the luncheon they were given a brown paper bag with a handcrafted bowl and a note inside. Each and every bowl was designed and donated from the members of the community. 

O’Fallon started this community wide luncheon in 2010 and raised $4,000. Last year the community raised over $11,000. 

“It feeds my soul to be able to do this for the community,” Todd said. 

HSHS St. Elizabeth’s Hospital

O’Fallon Weekly Photos By: Annabelle Knef

Gateway Classic Cars

O’Fallon Weekly Photos By: Kate Crutcher