The Airdrie Food Bank is cancelling its Empty Bowls Festival once again.

Usually a free soup lunch, a silent auction, entertainment and handmade pottery bowls for sale are all regular components of the Empty Bowls Festival, which was set for September 23. Guests would bid on hand-painted bowls made by artists with all revenues benefiting the Airdrie Food Bank.

Before COVID-19, the festival was last physically held in 2019. It was held online for the years 2020 and 2021 before being cancelled these last two.

Christine Taylor, the Events, Marketing and Communication Manager at the Airdrie Food Bank explained what the reason was for cancelling the festival.

"We just do not have spare staff and volunteers to plan the event. It takes a lot of work and a lot of time."

Currently, the Airdrie Food Bank is serving 55 per cent more people compared to their last fiscal period. 44 per cent of those are children, which is 12 per cent higher than the national average.

Since this is the second year of the festival being cancelled, Taylor is unsure if it will return and if it will look the same.

"Maybe it'll morph into something different and that's a good thing too."

This past weekend was the city-wide food drive, the numbers of how much money and food was fundraised are still being determined. Taylor does hope they will have enough food to last the winter months as they are currently experiencing extreme shortages.

The Airdrie Food Bank will be at Peace In the Park this Saturday taking donations.

Airdrie Councilwoman Tina Petrow is in the middle of her own fundraiser for the Airdrie Food Bank. She planned on climbing three mountains over a month span trying to help the food bank get the funds they need. So far she has climbed one mountain and has raised over $2000.

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