Area residents are invited to fill their bowls while they fill a community need during the Empty Bowls fundraiser from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Thursday, April 21, at Minnesota State Community and Technical College in Fergus Falls.
Guests at the luncheon will be served soup in handmade ceramic bowls in exchange for a minimum donation of $15, with proceeds donated to the local Salvation Army soup kitchen. Diners get to keep the bowls they have chosen.
M State ceramics instructor Lori Charest, who has coordinated Empty Bowls since it began 12 years ago, said more than 400 bowls have been created for the event by current and former M State students and local artists including Jeff Zachman, a former potter who is now a nationally recognized kinetic sculptor.
“This year so many of our former students came back for our ‘bowl-a-thon’ that all 16 of the wheels in our pottery studio were full,” Charest said. “Our annual gathering of artists has become kind of like a reunion.”
During the previous 11 years, M State’s Empty Bowls has raised nearly $40,000 to fight hunger through donations to the local Salvation Army. The proceeds of last year’s fundraiser were used to help the organization purchase a new commercial stove for its kitchen, where noon meals are prepared daily for as many as 70 people.
Lancer Hospitality is donating the soups – including the perennial favorite, chicken wild rice – for this year’s fundraiser, and City Bakery in Fergus Falls is donating an assortment of dinner rolls to be served with the soup.
The annual fundraiser is hosted by the M State Fine Arts Department.
Nationally, Empty Bowls began in 1990 as a meal for the staff of one high school and has spread across the United State and internationally, raising millions of dollars for anti-hunger organizations. It is the project of The Imagine/Render Group, a non-profit organization dedicated to positive and lasting social change through the arts, education and projects that build community.