Empty Bowls on April 8, 2011

Empty Bowls raises awareness while helping hungry people throughout the region

For some area residents, the idea of going to bed hungry is something they’ve never had to worry about. However, it’s a part of everyday life for thousands in the Tri-State. The Huntington Area Food Bank (HAFB) is partnering with several local organizations in an effort to raise awareness and help change this trend.

The 8th annual Empty Bowls fundraiser will take place Friday, April 8 from 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at First Presbyterian Church, 1015 5th Ave., in Huntington. B’nai Sholom Congregation, Christian Associates and two Marshall University student groups, Keramos Potters Guild and Out Loud Creative, are working with the College of Fine Arts to host this event.

Empty Bowls is a national initiative. Huntington’s version offers patrons a handmade ceramic bowl and modest soup lunch for a $12 donation to the Huntington Area Food Bank.

“The lunch is modest on purpose,” Jaye Ike, special projects coordinator for the College of Fine Arts at Marshall, said. “It serves as a reminder that many in our area go hungry. We are fortunate that our “modest” lunch is a variety of delicious items donated from area businesses, so it may not seem modest to some; but our goal is that it be a small soup lunch.

Ike added that donations are just some of the ways the community has gotten involved with this project.

“The support we’ve received from the community thus far is amazing,” said Ike. “There’s a lot of collaboration – a shared enthusiasm for the Empty Bowls project – among students and faculty, and the community at large. Now the goal is to raise as much money as we did last year.”

Last year’s event raised nearly $15,000 to be donated to the Huntington Area Food Bank.

B’nai Sholom is an organized Jewish community which began in Huntington 120 years ago. Currently, they are seeking items for the silent auction to be held the day of the event. Lynne Mayer, B’nai Sholom member, said her congregation is a long time supporter of HAFB and is happy to take part in this unique effort. “We are delighted to partner in this year’s Empty Bowls project in raising awareness of needed funds for the Huntington Area Food Bank, which provides a vital and essential service to our community.”

Christian Associates, an area organization of churches, is seeking donations of soup, bread and other food to be served at the event. At this time, they have commitments for more than 70 gallons. Their goal is to “raise” 100 gallons.

Keramos Potters Guild, of the Marshall University Department of Art and Design, and Out Loud Creative, of the W. Page Pitt School of Journalism and Mass Communications, are student-run groups. Keramos is busy creating a variety of bowls to be sold at the event while Out Loud assists with all aspects of advertising and public relations.

HAFB serves more than 95,000 people in the Tri-State area. This is a service region of 17 counties. All proceeds from Empty Bowls will be presented to HAFB.

For more information on Empty Bowls contact Jaye Ike at jaye.ike@marshall.edu.