Victoria Empty Bowls project fills stomachs and warms hearts

VC employee volunteers Rebecca Barfield (left) and Matt Wiley collect money for the Empty Bowls project in 2011

Victoria College will host its eighth Victoria Empty Bowls project on Sunday, Feb. 12 from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m. in the VC Student Center.

Empty Bowls is an opportunity for the community to help fight hunger by raising funds to help organizations that feed the hungry and homeless.

Each year, local potters and VC art students create bowls to donate to the Empty Bowls project.

“We should have at or near 500 bowls again this year,” said Debra Chronister, associate professor of art at VC. “We’re especially pleased to offer two special items that we hope will bring in a lot of big bids in the silent auction. One is a set of porcelain bowls signed by ‘Eat, Pray, Love’ author Elizabeth Gilbert and the other is a set of bowls signed by ‘BBQ Pitmaster’ host Kevin Roberts.”

Chronister co-chairs the Empty Bowls event every year along with Sherri Pall, director of VC’s Workforce and Continuing Education department. Chronister coordinates creating and collecting the pottery while Pall handles the logistics of the event. Both contribute their own handmade pottery as well.

“Since Empty Bowls is typically held on or near Valentine’s Day, our artisans always create quite a number of the heart-shaped bowls that have become a hallmark of this event,” said Pall.  “People collect these bowls and the heart-shaped bowls are always the quickest to sell.”

Handcrafted bowls sell for $15 and entitle purchasers to a bowl of soup and bread. Soup may be eaten from the purchased bowl and washing stations are available for those who wish to do so, but disposable bowls are also available.

A delicious variety of soups and bread are donated by the area’s finest restaurants and caterers, many of whom have remained loyal supporters of the Empty Bowls project since the first event in 2004.

“The Victoria community is very supportive of Empty Bowls and we’ve seen attendance increase every year,” said Pall. “Last year we brought in over $12,000, which means we’ve raised nearly $70,000 since the Empty Bowls project began to help our local charities and our community.”

Proceeds from the Empty Bowls project will benefit Christ’s Kitchen, Victoria Community Food Bank, Victoria County Senior Citizens Center, Victoria Christian Assistance Ministry and the Victoria College Art Scholarship.

Empty Bowls began 20 years ago in Michigan when a high school art teacher and his students helped coordinate an event to support a local food drive.  Instead of simply collecting canned food for donation, the class made ceramic bowls and served a simple meal of soup and bread.  The bowl is meant to serve as a keepsake and a reminder of world hunger.  Since then, Empty Bowls projects have spread throughout the world.


If you go...

What: 8th Annual Victoria Empty Bowls

When: Sunday, Feb. 12 from  11 a.m. - 2 p.m.

Where: VC Student Center

Cost: Purchase of a bowl is $15 and comes with soup and bread



posted on Thursday, Feb. 2, 2012 by Katy Long

Published: Thursday, 02 February 2012

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