ST. CLOUD -- Soup was on at today's annual Empty Bowls soup feed and benefit at Calvary Community Church in St. Cloud.

About 1,000 people came in to enjoy soup from over 40 local restaurants, bid on items in a silent auction, and enjoy live music.

Pastor Carol Smith of Place of Hope Ministries has been involved with the benefit for the last 11 years.

"Empty Bowls is [held] because somewhere, every day, somebody's bowl is empty," Smith says. "So we're here to raise money for our feeding program at Place of Hope."

All of the proceeds from the fudnraiser goes to Place of Hope, which provides numerous services to help people suffering homelessness in central Minnesota.

Smith says she enjoys the festivities and entertainment at the event, but the fundraiser has taken on added personal significance in recent years.

"[Place of Hopes meal programs] are in honor of my mom, Ann, who passed away a couple of years ago," Smith says. "'Ann's Meals' [funding] is taken care of here and the money that comes in goes to our feeding programs so it's really good."

Photo by Isaac Schweer, WJON
Photo by Isaac Schweer, WJON