New food bank executive director visits staging site for Empty Bowls

CynthiaKirkhart_EmptyBowls_02-24-15Facing Hunger Foodbank Executive Director Cynthia Kirkhart visited Marshall’s Art Warehouse last week for a behind-the-scenes view of the food bank’s largest fundraiser of the year, Empty Bowls.

Kirkhart spoke about the impact of the class of 10 students tasked with producing a chunk of this year’s bowl count.

“Your efforts and the range of money that we have brought in with Empty Bowls has been anywhere from $13,000 to almost $20,000,” Kirkhart said. “You really are the best source of money that I’ve come across, and I’ve worked with nonprofits for 30 years.”

Frederick Bartolovic, assistant professor of ceramics, described how unique the opportunity was to his students.

“One of the great things about this class is what you can begin to see through the process,” Bartolovic said. “It gives students the opportunity to see how they, as artists, can make an impact on the community, and I think that’s something that’s very challenging within art education and within academia in general. In this class, that experience is much more direct than in another studio class.”

“$1 will provide the foundation for seven meals. Twenty-thousand dollars (an amount raised at a single Empty Bowls event) can mean 140,000 meals just from Empty Bowls in one year,” Kirkhart said. “That’s an impact that few of us get to enjoy.”

Huntington’s 12th annual Empty Bowls is scheduled from 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Friday, April 17, at First Presbyterian Church. For more information about Empty Bowls, visit For more information about Facing Hunger Foodbank, visit


Photo:  Cynthia Kirkhart, executive director of the Facing Hunger Foodbank, looks through bowls being prepared for the April 17 Empty Bowls event, which will benefit the food bank.