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Empty Bowl: popular fundraiser seeks re-imagining

Lisa Johnson

For some of us, the Northern Lakes Food Bank Empty Bowl fundraiser was both a herald of spring and a bright spot in an otherwise dull March calendar.

The daytime event was a chance for folks to buy bowls made in the community by everyone from professional artists to schoolkids, and then enjoy a lunch of bread and soup provided by area restaurants.

But by the end of its 25-year run, the popular fundraiser was facing increasingly steep challenges. Decreased volunteer participation, increasing pressure on area artists to make yet another charitable contribution, even curriculum changes in the public schools made it more and more difficult to get the thousands of moving pieces of the huge event to come together just right.

If you have an idea for an Empty Bowl Reimagined, or another kind of project altogether, you can email Northern Lakes Food Bank at info@northernlakesfoodbank.org.

Lisa Johnson started her broadcast career anchoring the television news at her high school and spinning country music at KWWK/KOLM Radio in Rochester, Minnesota. She was a reporter and news anchor at KTHI in Fargo, ND (not to mention the host of a children's program called "Lisa's Lane") and a radio reporter and anchor in Moorhead, Bismarck, Wahpeton and Fergus Falls.Since 1991, she has hosted Northland Morning on KUMD. One of the best parts of her job includes "paying it forward" by mentoring upcoming journalists and broadcasters on the student news team that helps produce Northland Morning. She also loves introducing the different people she meets in her job to one another, helping to forge new "community connections" and partnerships.Lisa has amassed a book collection weighing over two tons, and she enjoys reading, photography, volunteering with Animal Allies Humane Society and fantasizing about farmland. She goes to bed at 8pm, long before her daughter, two cats, or three dogs.
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