2017-04-20 / News

Decorating bowls to fight world hunger spoonful at a time

Help the cause Saturday during free workshop


ABOVE: The Andrew brothers, from left, Cooper, 7, and Teigue, 8, at the arts center painting bowls for the September fundraiser. ABOVE: The Andrew brothers, from left, Cooper, 7, and Teigue, 8, at the arts center painting bowls for the September fundraiser. Forty-six years after the United Nations began celebrating World Food Day, two art teachers in Michigan brainstormed a creative way to fight hunger.

By promoting the simple concept of crafting ceramic bowls, volunteers from all sectors could participate — churches, schools, community centers, art galleries. Artists of all ages, amateurs and professionals, could shape, glaze and decorate empty bowls as a reminder of the 800 million people worldwide who rest their heads at night with unfilled stomachs.

What began in the Midwest in 1991 is now an international effort to fight hunger.

The “Empty Bowls” fundraiser has stretched across the globe, with artists crafting bowls and donating them to food banks and soup kitchens. The communities then organize fundraising dinners for guests to contribute money in exchange for small meals in their newly acquired handmade bowls. The proceeds are aimed to help end world hunger.


RIGHT: Gretchen Shull, 7, gets her hands dirty on the pottery wheel. RIGHT: Gretchen Shull, 7, gets her hands dirty on the pottery wheel. In the Ocean State, the Rhode Island Community Food Bank is administering “Empty Bowls.” Although the Oct. 13 fundraiser is scheduled at Rhodes on the Pawtuxet in Cranston, Jamestown will be well represented.

Following a workshop earlier this month, the Jamestown Arts Center is hosting a second seminar Saturday afternoon. Townspeople, young and old, are invited to the two-hour workshop that begins at 2 p.m. For beginners, there will be demonstrations on the pottery wheel. All ceramics made during the workshop will be offered to diners during the October fundraiser.

According to the Rhode Island Community Food Bank, at least 1,000 dishes are needed for “Empty Bowls” to be successful in this state. At the 2016 dinner, they exceeded that quota, and more than $80,000 was raised for the charity. The food bank, located in Providence, benefits 59,000 struggling Rhode Islanders monthly by supplying 160 agencies across the state, including the Martin Luther King Jr. Community Center in Newport, which services dozens of Jamestowners every week.



LEFT: Guests browse the handmade dishes during the 2016 “Empty Bowls” community dinner at Rhodes on the Pawtuxet. LEFT: Guests browse the handmade dishes during the 2016 “Empty Bowls” community dinner at Rhodes on the Pawtuxet.

Return to top