Linda Hill’s Winston-Salem home is filled with art and smells like cooking.

She sits at her dining room table, sharing recipes and talking about Campari tomatoes. You would think she had died and gone to Heaven the way she talks about tomatoes. “I could go on and on. I love food!” she laughs.

It was that love of food coupled with her love for North Carolina that brought her to Second Harvest Food Bank nearly 29 years ago– first as a volunteer and later as a 9-year member of the Second Harvest Board of Directors. “Food is just so important. There is no one who can do without it. That is why the mission of Second Harvest is so appealing to me.”

Food has always been an important piece of Linda’s home. Many of her memories of raising children revolve around food and cooking. “We never wasted anything with four children. I used to make ‘garbage soup’ at the end of the week with all the leftover vegetables in the house, even the small little nubs and pieces.”

She was volunteering at Second Harvest years ago when a pallet of Campbell’s Cream of Mushroom soup was donated because of misprinted labels — Linda sat down and wrote an easy quiche recipe to distribute with the cans. “It’s about sharing what you know. You can sneak whole grains into cookies; you can make quiche from canned soup.”

Linda’s own father grew up very poor as one of six children. But, she says, they were rice farmers and had gardens, so nobody was hungry. Today, she worries about families, especially those with small children, getting enough nutritious and healthy food onto their tables. It is the programming efforts that Second Harvest has from Community Cupboard programs in food deserts to our Cooking Matters classes that appeal most to Linda.

Linda’s nearly 30 years of commitment to Second Harvest, from volunteering to advocating to serving on our Board, is best demonstrated through an ever-growing collection of handcrafted bowls displayed around her home. The bowls are from over a decade of attending Empty Bowls, Second Harvest’s signature fundraiser, where participants select bowls from local potters and artists to take home. “Each one is so unique, so different,” she says, turning a stoneware bowl over in her hands.

While each bowl in Linda’s house metaphorically represents her dedication to nutritious food and hunger-free communities, on a very literal level each bowl has also provided meals to families in need. Second Harvest is very proud of our ability to leverage our donor’s dollars, turning each Empty Bowls ticket sold 105 meals.

At Empty Bowls, local potters, volunteers and sometimes even children, donate bowls to the event and each attendee selects one to take home. It is all part of a great local tradition, where local restaurants, businesses, artists and volunteers band together to support Second Harvest and feed community.

Invite your friends, invite your neighbors.

We asked Linda if we can expect to see her April18th  at Empty Bowls again?

“I’m bringing friends!” she laughed. We thought that might be the case.

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