Sabal Harbour's Joe Angers wasn't able to volunteer at last year's Empty Bowls at Main Street at Lakewood Ranch because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
This year, Angers is back serving soup, and he couldn't be happier.
"I missed it last year," Angers said. "Last year was a total wash out for all my volunteering. I'm happy to be getting back into it. It's great."
Dozens of cars flowed through Main Street at Lakewood Ranch Nov. 5 as Meals on Wheels Plus of Manatee had to change Empty Bowls from being an in-person event to a drive-thru due to rain.
Country Club East's Gary Corson volunteered at Empty Bowls for the first time.
"I'm looking forward to getting rid of this whole pot of chicken noodle soup," Corson said. "And if I do that, I have a spare to serve too."
Corson has been volunteering with Meals on Wheels Plus of Manatee as a driver delivering meals for the past six months. Seeing the need in the community made him want to volunteer for Empty Bowls.
"The first time I (delivered meals) I went home and I was depressed because the fact is that some people that you serve are in real need," Corson said. "Then you think why am I doing this? I'm doing it because you want to help the people and you feel good about it. I feel good about the route of the people that I deliver to every week. You get to know them and become friends with them."
As people came through the drive-thru, they were able to select a soup and handmade ceramic bowl.
Country Club East's Susan Tabicman and Len Tabicman were overwhelmed with the choices of soup. It was the first time they went to Empty Bowls.
"I have no idea what to get," Susan Tabicman said. "They all sound super good. I'm having a difficult time deciding."