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Empty Bowls Fill With Awareness

April 12 - At 5:25 pm, the line of people stretched all the way out of Woods-Penn and all the way up the sidewalk. They were waiting for the doors to open on Berea's fourth annual Empty Bowls project, a hunger awareness banquet to raise money for local food banks. At least 235 people turned out for the benefit this year, hoping for a good meal, a welcome change from college food service, and a chance to help those in need.

Berea College's 4th annual Empty Bowls benefit brought 235 people to Woods-Penn.

Empty Bowls is a national program to raise awareness of hunger and poverty. The basic idea is simple: for a ten-dollar donation, the participant receives a simple meal of soup and bread in a ceramic bowl which is theirs to keep. This year, Berea College's Empty Bowls raised more than $2500 to benefit the Berea Community Food Bank, Friends of Paint Lick, and Crab Orchard Family Resource Center.

Donating to food banks is a great step toward alleviating world hunger, and receiving a meal in return is an added bonus. But what is the point of the bowl?

"Every time you see your empty bowl," said Jessica Heatherly, one of the student coordinators of Berea College's Empty Bowls project, "It's supposed to remind you about those who are hungry in the world and inspire you to do something about it."

Many people spent several minutes going through the table of bowls to find the one they wanted before moving on to the soup. Each bowl was unique, and many were of varying sizes and shapes. The bowls were donated by the Berea College Apprenticeship Program and local potters Teresa Cole and Tater Knob Pottery. There were also many different varieties of soup available at the benefit, ranging from chicken-tortilla soup to vegan chili, which were provided by the Berea and Richmond area restaurants Boone Tavern, China Chef Restaurant, Cracker Barrel, El Rio Grande, Hong Kong Restaurant, Main Street Café and Papa Leno's Restaurant.

The organizers of Empty Bowls were Ashley Cochrane, the service-learning coordinator for CELTS; Danielle Capillo, the student director of SFA; Jessica Heatherly; Alex Gibson; Valerie Llyrehc and Patrick McGrady. The pottery coordinators who helped provide the bowl donations from the Ceramic Apprenticeship Program were Brenda Hornsby, Amanda Anderson and Carla Brunsell.

The event was sponsored by the Berea College Ceramic Apprenticeship Program and CELTS. For more information on world hunger and the Empty Bowls Project, visit the links below.

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