It takes a community to care for a community. That's the idea behind Empty Bowls, an international event that raises funds and awareness to fight hunger. Bucknell has hosted a fundraiser to benefit the program since 2003, and this year set a new record for community participation.
Attendees paid $10 to be served soup donated by local restaurants, then took home a handmade bowl as a keepsake and reminder that many people around the world go hungry each day. Proceeds from the event benefited the Community Harvest Meal Program, which serves a free hot meal weekly in Milton, Pa., about 5 miles from campus. Bucknell's event occurred on March 8 in honor of International Women's Day. More than 360 people attended, raising at least $4,500 for charity.
Unlike some Empty Bowls host sites, which rely on an individual or a small group of professionals to create the titular bowls, Bucknell calls on its community throughout the preparation process. Approximately 200 students, faculty and staff dropped by the 7th Street Studio on campus in the weeks leading up to the event to create 300 one-of-a-kind clay bowls. The studio offers creative workshops and opportunities for Bucknellians to drop in and make art throughout the academic year.
Leah Gilbert '18, who works in the studio, has taken part in Empty Bowls three times. "We really got the word out this year, and so many more people helped out to make even more bowls," she said. "It was fun to have everyone there doing something to give back."
Empty Bowls is a collaboration among the Office of Civic Engagement, 7th Street Studio, International Student Services, Women's Resource Center, Dining Services and local restaurants, including Elizabeth's: An American Bistro, the Bull Run Tap House and Brasserie Louis.