Frugal Family: Empty Bowls at Murzyn Hall on Thursday

You get a deal on helping people who use the local food shelf at this annual event.

This week you can get a deal on helping others at , the annual fundraiser for Southern Anoka Community Assistance (SACA), on Thursday, March 24, 4:30–8 p.m., at Murzyn Hall, 530 Mill St. NE, Columbia Heights.

Minnesota FoodShare is matching a percentage of what SACA raises at this event as well as a companion , and all month long through donations of money and food.

For your tax-decuctible free-will offering at Empty Bowls, you get a simple meal of soup, bread and salad; entertainment by local performers and artists; and a souvenir hand-thrown bowl to take home as a keepsake to remind you of those whose bowls are often empty.

"We're way short of what we need for the year," said SACA's Rick Johnson. He said the $15–20,000 the organization raises through Empty Bowls goes toward food purchases for the whole year. Need in SACA's coverage area ( Columbia Heights, Hilltop, Fridley, and Spring Lake Park) increased by 10 percent from 2009 to 2010.

What's your favorite deal? Here are four more typical deals—two local, two from a Patch to the south. Add your ideas in comments.

7950 University Ave. NE, Fridley
new students, family and multi-student discount

7300 Central Ave. N.E., Fridley
discounts on hundreds of thousands of recycled auto and light truck parts

515 W. 77th St., Richfield
up to 70% off on select items such as strollers, bedding, plush toys and necessities.

7301 Penn Ave. S., Richfield
$25 to $300 off per unit on select styles of Hunter Douglas


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