Local residents are invited to raise a bowl Jan. 26 to help end hunger in Bartholomew County by attending the 15th annual Empty Bowls dinner.
The concept behind the event’s name, Empty Bowls, is you can purchase an artisan bowl and take it home to remind you that there are people in the community who are hungry, said Erika Miller, co-chairwoman of its planning committee.
“What I think is so unique and awesome about Empty Bowls is it is a community coming together to fight back against something that shouldn’t be a fight to begin with,” Miller said. “All the money goes back to local food pantries in Bartholomew County to help the fight against hunger.”
Proceeds from this year’s dinner will benefit Love Chapel and the Hope Food Bank. The event is presented by the United Way, city of Columbus, Pride Alliance Columbus, the Columbus Food Co-Op and C4 Culinary Arts program.
When: 5:30 p.m. Jan. 26
Where: Central Middle School, 725 Seventh St.
Admission: $3 children 10 and younger; $10 adults; $20 for meal and keepsake bowl. Tickets available in advance at Viewpoint Books, 548 Washington St.
Information: 350-1175 or firstname.lastname@example.org
SaraBeth Drybread, community outreach coordinator for the Columbus Food Co-Op and co-chairwoman of the Empty Bowls planning committee, said the bowls offered at this year’s event are crafted by talented local artisans including Jaye Lahee, Barb Lund and Bob Pulley.
Unlike previous years, this year’s set-up offers individual bays featuring different types of soup, such as chili, chicken noodle and vegetarian. Even specialty soups, such as those that are gluten-free, will be available. Additionally, people will walk around the room distributing several types of bread, including sourdough and baguettes.
“We’re going to try to keep the bays organized by types and have a good rotation and variety set up,” said chef Carrie Douglas of the C4 Culinary Arts program. “We always want to raise as much money as we possibly can for the local food banks. So the goal is to have plenty of soup so people can come, eat and have a good time.”
The Taiko drumming group Rhythm Conspiracy makes its event debut and will play in the bay area so guests can hear them as they’re in line, Miller said.
Tim Grimm and Jan Lucas-Grimm return to perform their Americana mix of traditional and original songs, including “Better Days,” “The Back Fields” and “The Lake” as the evening’s main entertainment. This year, the couple’s son, Connor, will accompany them on bass.
“The event is combining art, education and good food,” Lucas-Grimm said. “It’s a great way to bring awareness to the fact that there are hungry people in our community, especially children.”
What began in the early 1990s as a class project to raise awareness about hunger in a small Michigan town quickly grew into an international grass-roots movement.
First introduced to the Columbus community in 1999, Empty Bowls is as much about diversity and inclusiveness in the community as hunger, said Brian Walters, current volunteer and former Columbus chairman for Empty Bowls.
“Hunger doesn’t recognize social roles, gender, race or sexual orientation,” Walters said.
“If you’re hungry, you’re hungry. This event is a chance for people to put aside any types of differences they may have for the evening and focus on raising money and awareness to combat hunger.”