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Bucknell's Empty Bowls event March 19 aids Community Harvest

Mar 04, 2015 11:34AM ● Published by Erica Shames

Bucknell University will hold its annual Empty Bowls event Thursday, March 19, in the Center Room of the Elaine Langone Center.

Empty Bowls programs are held throughout the country as a creative way to address hunger in local communities. Handmade ceramic bowls are offered along with a simple meal in exchange for a donation. Meal times are 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 4 to 7:30 p.m. For a donation of $10, individuals can select a hand-made ceramic bowl, bread and soup. Participants take home empty bowls to remind them that many in our own area go to bed with empty stomachs.

Tickets can be purchased at any Campus Box Office location starting on March 2 or on site the day of the event.

Empty Bowls is an annual event at Bucknell University that aims to raise money for local food programs that assist the needy. Proceeds from this event benefit the Community Harvest Meal program, a free hot meal program in Milton that serves approximately 100 people every Monday evening.

For months, volunteers worked with Bucknell University's Seventh Street Studio to make more than 300 beautifully crafted and glazed bowls for this event. Many students volunteer to help reach this goal, especially during "100 Bowls Day", a day organized by Gretchen Heuges, Seventh Street Studio Coordinator. On that day, artists use the potter's wheels to make 100 bowls in a single day. This year, students, faculty and staff produced more than 120 bowls.

"The Empty Bowls Project is a great way to blend art with community service,” said Heuges. "Students really enjoy the process of making the bowls, but more importantly, the project raises awareness of local hunger and need, something that many do not know exists." Next year, the goal is to have at least 300 bowls for the banquet.

The project is a collaboration of the Office of Civic Engagement, Seventh Street Studio, Dining Services, the Office of International Student Services and Women's Resource Center as well as local restaurants that donate soup and bread. This year, participating restaurants include Bull Run Tap House, Elizabeth's, Good Wil's, Hotel Edison, Ric-Mar and Townside Garden Café. International Student Services and the Women's Resource Center will partner with Empty Bowls to celebrate International Women's Day and bring awareness to how women are disproportionately affected by this issue.

Hunger, which is prevalent in U.S. society, is a grave reality that many face on a daily basis. According to Feeding America, the nation's leading domestic hunger-relief charity, 1 in 6 Americans struggle with hunger daily.

Bucknell senior Deanna Boerstler said, "I got involved with Empty Bowls because my high school had a similar event, and it was great seeing my community at home come together for the cause. When I found out that we had an Empty Bowls here, I was really excited because it's so much more than just a community service event. It brings people together not only for the Empty Bowls message, but also for the beautiful pottery that so many hands have helped create."

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