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Local Chef Puts Heart Into Helping Neighbors

Collaboration is a key part of Tarrant Area Food Bank’s (TAFB) work to feed hungry North Texans. This collaboration is on full display at Empty Bowls, TAFB’s signature fundraiser. Local artists and restaurants donate their time and talents to provide guests with delicious food and handcrafted bowls. Proceeds from Empty Bowls help TAFB continue working toward its vision of communities where no one has to go hungry. One local chef has put his heart into the event since it began 15 years ago.

Serving Those in Need

Chef Jon Bonnell is the owner and executive chef of two of Fort Worth’s top restaurants, Waters and Bonnell’s. His award-winning dishes have drawn attention from near and far. A Fort Worth native, Jon shared that it’s a natural fit for the food community to help with hunger issues.

“As a chef and former teacher, food to me is everything” Jon explained. “Food determines how people feel, what they are capable of, and how long they may live.”

Since 2002, Empty Bowls has raised awareness about the issue of hunger as well as funds to fight it. Each year, artists and chefs embrace the symbolism of filling an empty bowl to help provide hungry children, families and seniors with access to nutritious food.

“It’s rewarding to see an event raise such awareness as well as desperately need funds to help the community,” said Jon.

Jon is no stranger to Tarrant Area Food Bank and efforts to help those in need. He became involved with TAFB when asked to speak as a guest chef in the Community Kitchen. Today, Jon serves on the TAFB capital campaign board in addition to providing fare from both Bonnell’s and Waters restaurants at Empty Bowls.

“Giving people access to healthy food, education, and lifestyles is something I’m very passionate about.” -Chef Jon Bonnell.

Worthwhile Festivities

Over the years, Jon has seen Empty Bowls grow from a “let’s try some soups today” event to a “can’t-miss philanthropic endeavor.”

With more than 4,000 bowls and art from over 500 local artists, Empty Bowls promises to be an unforgettable event. Bowl-friendly fare, desserts and beverages from almost 50 Fort Worth chefs, caterers and restaurants will not disappoint.

To Jon, the most satisfying part about participating in Empty Bowls is that “it’s a chance to see great people doing their part to help feed the community that we all love.”

Your opportunity to enjoy Jon’s oxtail and barley soup from Bonnell’s and clam chowder from Waters will be this Friday, Feb. 17 at Empty Bowls benefiting TAFB. General admission, VIP and VIP tables of 10 tickets are on sale now through Thursday, Feb. 16.