Empty Bowls to be used to fill local food banks

Friday, April 28, 2006

The group hopes to have 200 bowls ready for the scheduled November dinner date.

Local potters have teamed up with a Cape Girardeau not-for-profit community assistance program to take a different approach to raising funds to combat hunger.

Saturday will mark the kickoff event for Cape Girardeau's first Empty Bowls fund-raising project.

Empty Bowls is a national project in which people make clay bowls to be used at a soup dinner with proceeds from the dinner going to local food banks.

The River's Edge Pottery Guild will start the fundraiser Saturday at an open house at the Jars of Clay Pottery studio. Pam Duncan with the guild said the group hopes to have 200 bowls ready for the scheduled November date for the dinner.

They hope to sell tickets for the dinner.

To make the project possible the guild is teaming with the Cape Area Family Resource Center, local restaurants which will donate food, the Arts Council of Southeast Missouri, which will provide show space for some of the bowls to increase awareness and service organizations at Southeast Missouri State University.

Denise Lincoln, manager of the family resource center, said the idea for starting Empty Bowls locally came to her after she saw the program work in other cities.

As part of the project Lincoln hopes to make classes in pottery available to children and adults who use the resource center. The bowls they create will be used at the dinner. The Family Resource Center provides programs to assist low-income residents on Cape Girardeau's south side.

"This is an opportunity to have that class contribute to the real day-to-day issues in that community," said Lincoln. "Many of these people have made use of food pantries, but they either haven't been asked or haven't felt like they could contribute."

Community members will also be invited to participate in bowl-making session, no experience required, said Duncan. Saturday's session will be the first, but Duncan hopes for at least one more session at a later date.

msanders@semissourian.com

335-6611, extension 182

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