On Sunday the sixth annual Empty Bowls Banquet will be held at the Salvation Army. For $12, patrons receive a simple lunch of soup and bread, with a dessert and drink. Each participant can then choose a handcrafted bowl made by local artists and volunteers.
Bohnsack and others craft the bowls from clay. The bowls are then fired and glazed for the banquet. The proceeds will go toward the Salvation Army's food pantry.
A selection of bowls are up for auction at the Arts Council of Southeast Missouri. The auction closes at the end of today's First Friday reception.
Those unable to attend the banquet Sunday will have a chance to purchase pottery at the arts council's craft show Nov. 19 and 20 at the Osage Centre. There, Bohnsack will be selling bowls and donating the profits to the food pantry.
"We sold around 200 bowls at the banquet last year, and we tried the craft show and it was also very successful," Bohnsack said. "There are usually somewhere between 8,000 to 10,000 people who attend the craft show, so that is a great way for us to share what we're doing and to get support from people who maybe haven't heard of us."
Since January, more than 600 handcrafted bowls have been created for Sunday's event and the craft show. The prices of the bowls for the craft show start at $12, and the booth will have several larger bowls for sale.
Maj. Beth Stillwell, assistant director of the Salvation Army, said the need is great for feeding people in Southeast Missouri.
"The proceeds go directly to the food pantry here in Cape Girardeau County, and it is very, very much needed," Stillwell said.
According to the Salvation Army's annual budget report, last year's Empty Bowls Project helped provide 21,733 meals to needy residents in Southeast Missouri.
Southeast Missouri State University's Human Environmental Studies program helps to provide the meals, with students participating in the preparations. Dr. Anne Marietta, Southeast professor and co-chairwoman of the event along with Bohnsack, has organized 30 students from her community nutrition class along with several student volunteers from other courses. The majority of the students are nutrition and exercise science majors and dietetic majors.
The students will be serving two choices of soup, a beef and vegetable soup and a lentil and black bean soup, along with crackers and bread. Marietta said they serve a simple meal to remind the community of those who are struggling with hunger.
"The bowls are taken home as a reminder that there are people in our community that are hungry. This is a communitywide effort," Marietta said.
Other Southeast Missouri organizations that have donated to the event include SoutheastHEALTH, Schnucks, Cafe Soupe and Chartwells.
For more information on the event, call the Salvation Army at 335-7000.
701 Good Hope St., Cape Girardeau, MO