Empty Bowls event to benefit Second Harvest Food Bank


Meghan Maker

Mercyhurst students crafted and painted a majority of the bowls that will be sold during this year’s Empty Bowls event. The dinner is Sunday, April 10, from 4 p.m. to 6:30 p.m in the Laker Inn.

Maggie Switzer, Contributing writer

The Social Work and Art Education Departments are teaming up again for the Empty Bowls hunger awareness dinner and fundraiser.

A team of students and faculty from both departments collaborated on this event, which aims to increase awareness of the issue of hunger locally in Erie, nationally and internationally.

“Empty Bowls allows us to partner with local restaurants and students across campus to bring increased awareness to hunger in Erie and the lasting effects of hunger throughout the world,” junior Social Work major Riley Norton said.

The event will take place on Sunday, April 10, from 4 until 6:30 p.m. at the Laker Inn.

The soups and bread are being donated by local restaurants such as Molly Brannigans, Joe Roots Grill and the Whole Foods Co-op.

The dinner itself is simple as it tries to make the point that many people suffer from hunger and often find themselves lacking nutritious and filling food to eat.

People suffering from hunger are usually also suffering from poverty. Food insecurity is a large problem in the Erie area. Eighty percent of Erie school students qualify for free and reduced school lunches. Empty Bowls is trying to raise awareness of these issues.

Attendees of the Empty Bowls dinner are able to take home a handmade ceramic bowl. Students in the Art Education Department and high school students from Collegiate Academy made the bowls that guests will receive.

Art Education majors and individuals from Collegiate Academy have made over 300 ceramic bowls. Social work majors arranged locations, donations and media.

“It’s really great that we are able to collaborate across departments to work for something that we all feel passionate about. Everyone brings different strengths to the table and with each person contributing we are able to put on a great event,” Social Work junior Emily Shanahan said.

A member of the Hospitality Department, Elizabeth Gottschalk, senior, donated hours of her time to assure that Empty Bowls will run smoothly.

Tickets can be purchased by emailing Riley Norton at rnorto66@lakers.mercyhurst.edu. Tickets are $15 for dinner and a ceramic bowl to keep or $5 for just dinner. The proceeds from the fundraiser will go toward the Second Harvest Food Bank.