Published: Jan 29, 2013 11:44 PM EST

NAPLES, Fla.- Soup servers were kept busy during the January 26 Naples Empty Bowls event, held in Cambier Park, Naples.  38 local restaurants donated the soup; it was all good—even to the last drops that were drained from the containers!

Over 2,200 people from the Naples area participated in the 7th annual Naples Empty Bowls event on Saturday, January 26.  The popular event was held at Cambier Park.  Die-hard participants began lining up at 6:45 a.m. for the 11:00 a.m. opening.

For a $10 donation, those attending selected a handmade ceramic bowl then sampled soup from the 38 varieties.  The event is an annual fund raiser for the Harry Chapin Food Bank.  Over $50,000 was raised from the event. This will allow the food bank to distribute over $300,000 in food to families.

The Harry Chapin Food Bank wants to thank the Naples community for embracing the Naples Empty Bowls event and for their generosity. Thanks goes to the organizing committee, students and artists who created bowls, and those who contributed to the silent auction.  The date for next year’s event is January 25, 2014.

 Over 2,000 bowls were made for the event by Collier County students and adults.   The Barron Collier drum line performed prior to the 11:00 start.  Artisans and students demonstrated the “throwing” technique and student groups provided entertainment.

 The Naples Empty Bowls event presenting sponsor was Panera Bread.  Additional sponsors included Ace Hardware, Allegra Printing, Bond, Schoeneck and King, City of Naples, Laquana Clay, Master Piece Mixers, Publix, Taylor Rental/Party Plus Naples, Sweetbay, Whole Foods, High Water Clay, Needles & Thread, Robert Abraham-Orthodontics, YT Freeman Attorney, Humiston & Moore Engineers, AVAirPros, Cynthia Strohmeyer, MD, Warner and Patti Blow, Ann Ciccarelli, Audry Morean Peterson, Wiliam and Barbara Yeager, Marjorie Newton, Phillis and Jeffery Heller, Nancy Lemaster, and Shelly Mamdani.

Comprising the “soup line” by providing at least 10 gallons of their specialty soup were local restaurants Bayside Seafood Bar & Grill, Brio’s, Buzz Lighthouse Restaurant, Charlie Chiang’s, CJ’s on the Bay, Calistoga, Carrabba’s, Castaways Backwater Café, Collier’s Reserve Country Club, Daniela’s, Eagle Creek Country Club, Food & Thought, Kensington Country Club, Larry’s Lunchbox, Lorenzo Walker, M. Waterfront Grille, Marco Marriott Hotel, and Naples Flatbread.

Additional restaurants were Naples Heritage Golf and Country Club, Naples Sailing and Yacht Club, Palmira Country Club, Panera Bread, Patrics At World Tennis Club, Pelagos Café, Randy’s, Spanky’s, Stevie Tomato Sports Page, Sunburst Café, Texas Tony’s BBQ, The Club at Mediterra, The Dock, Tiburon Golf Club, Turtle Club, Wilderness Country Club, Whole Foods, Worthington Country Club, Wynn’s, and Zookies.

The Harry Chapin Food Bank solicits, collects and stores quality food for distribution to families in need through a network of 160 nonprofit agencies in Lee, Collier, Hendry, Charlotte and Glades counties that provide food to more than 30,000 people monthly.  Over 1 million pounds of food are distributed by the Harry Chapin Food Bank monthly.  For every dollar donated, about $6 in food value goes back to the community.  In the past fiscal year, the Harry Chapin Food Bank distributed more than 15 million pounds of food and other grocery items valued at more than $24.9 million. This is roughly the equivalent of 12.5 million meals to people in need.

For additional information about or to contribute financially to the Harry Chapin Food Bank, contact 239-334-7007 or go to harrychapinfoodbank.org.