Empty Bowls Project is a grassroots movement to help end hunger. Since being created by The Imagine Render Group, it has grown into an international movement raising awareness and money to help those in need. Its concept is simple: potters and other craftsmen, educators and non-profits, gather with their community to create hand crafted bowls. Guests are invited for a meal of soup and bread, and as a "thank you" for donating to local hunger relief, are gifted a handmade bowl as a reminder of all of the empty bowls in the world. All the proceeds are given to a local organization working to end hunger in the community.
Why did the artist get involved?
"As a potter and art professor, I am not in a philanthropic position to write big checks to food banks. Even if I were, hunger issues in our country are community issues deserving community responses. I had heard about, even participated in a couple of Empty Bowl Projects in other communities. One day, eleven years ago I approached the pastor of my local church saying, 'why don't I make 50 bowls, bring them top church some Sunday and the folks at Trinity can buy a bowl for $10 and Trinity can donate $500 to the local food bank.' To that she replied, "why 50 and why only Trinity?" I said, "Ok, 500 and to the whole town!" We Care Ministries, Inc., our local food bank had a nice facility but no food storage capabilities so for the first two years they saved the money and were able then to buy very large walk-in freezers and coolers so that they could store food and become a regional food center. Each year I make somewhere near 500 bowls for our local project and we have raised over $40,000 to fit hunger in Northwest Tennessee. Empty Bowls projects are local, grassroots activities. As my family has grown up and moved off I figured I have adopted St Louis as a part of my family experience so it seems only right that I should partner with Urban Eats to work with the community in fighting its hunger issues."
What Level of Poverty Does St. Louis Experience?
Childhood Hunger in St. Louis