An empty bowl’s message is clear: Someone is without food. Mercyhurst’s Empty Bowls program hopes to end that issue.
Empty Bowls, a national movement started in Michigan in 1999, brings together pottery makers and artisans to make handcrafted ceramic bowls which are sold to the public. The proceeds from the bowls, as well as the profits from the tickets to have a simple meal of soup and bread, go towards an organization that is dedicated to ending hunger. Mercyhurst’s profits benefit Second Harvest Food Bank.
The event occurs April 13 from 2 p.m. to 7 p.m., and features soup from Molly Brannigan’s, Joe Root’s Grill, U Pick 6 Public House, Pufferbelly, Bertrand’s Bistro, the Brewerie and Whole Foods Co-op. A ticket is $5 and a ticket with a handmade bowl is $15.
The Social Work and Art Education departments are collaborating on this project. The Social Work Department gathered all of the resources, going around to restaurants and collecting donations for soup and bread. The Art Education Department, with the help of Mercyhurst Prep and Collegiate Academy, handcrafted the bowls.
“It’s not just to raise money for Second Harvest,” said sophomore Michelle Ahrens. “It’s also to raise awareness about hunger in our community, which is a lot more prevalent than people think.”
According to Sam Strathearn, a junior, the Art Education Department has made 216 bowls thus far, and the rest are being donated by Collegiate and Mercyhurst Prep.
“The Art Ed Club has been looking for a lot of service projects to do and this was a really good one because it’s actually making art for a better cause,” said Strathearn. “For every dollar we raise, the Second Harvest Food Bank can get $17 worth of food.”
At $5 per ticket, each one pays for $85 worth of food.
“We are very thankful for our donors,” said sophomore Maggie Switzer. “[The program] teaches you about the limits of nutrition that a lot of really hungry people experience…it raises awareness about what people face.”
Junior and MSG Senator John Herrmann emphasized this project was entirely student-run.
“We started meeting back in October to begin organizing the event, and have done pretty much everything from the start,” he said.
Please contact John Herrmann (email@example.com) if you’re interested in buying tickets, or Michelle Ahrens (firstname.lastname@example.org) for more information.